Pappas has over 25 years of racing expe­ri­ence after working with teams such as Roush Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Walker Racing, Panther Racing, and others. Most recently he was the race engi­neer for Justin Wilson at Dale Coyne Racing from 2012 – 2013.

Pappas is widely regarded as one of the most respected engi­neers in open-wheel racing. Bill grew up in Indi­anapolis and annual trips to Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the Indi­anapolis 500 became a family tradi­tion. Once old enough, Pappas used the annual trips to Indi­anapolis as networking oppor­tu­ni­ties offering to sweep garages and perform other odd jobs just to have the oppor­tu­nity to be in the garage area and close to the action. After grad­u­ating from Purdue Univer­sity with a mechan­ical engi­neering degree in 1983, Pappas relo­cated to Arizona for a job designing weapons guid­ance systems. While in Arizona, Pappas volun­teered at open-wheel races at Phoenix Inter­na­tional Raceway, River­side Speedway in Cali­fornia and other races taking place in the western part of the United States.

Pappas’ first racing job oppor­tu­nity came when he was hired by Jack Roush in 1985 to work at Roush’s Livonia, Mich.-based company as a design engi­neer performing research and devel­op­ment activ­i­ties for various Roush contracts. It was only a matter of time before Pappas began trav­eling to various SCCA events. When Roush started his NASCAR Cup Series team with driver Mark Martin, Pappas was invited to be part of the program but chose to pursue his passion – Indy car racing – and he joined Patrick Racing in late 1988 as support engi­neer for Morris Nunn and the team’s driver at the time, Emerson Fitti­paldi, ulti­mately won the series cham­pi­onship in 1989. Pappas was race engi­neer for Al Unser Sr. at Indy with the Alfa Romeo program and was Jimmy Vasser’s engi­neer when he was the fastest rookie at Indy in 1992.

Pappas moved to Hall Racing in Midland, Texas in 1993 as race engi­neer for Teo Fabi. While at Hall Racing, his success as race engi­neer for Gil de Ferran, who was a rookie winner at Laguna Seca as well as became the 1995 CART Rookie of the Year and 1996 Cleve­land winner, caught the atten­tion of Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker and both joined the team in 1997. Their success over the next three years led to both receiving job offers from legendary team owner Roger Penske for the 2000 season. Pappas elected to remain in Indi­anapolis due to family oblig­a­tions rather than making the move to Penske’s oper­a­tions in Pennsylvania.

Pappas’ rela­tion­ship with former Patrick Racing partner Chip Ganassi led to a job oppor­tu­nity and he became race engi­neer for Juan Pablo Montoya’s Toyota-powered program in 2000. Montoya won the Indy Racing League (IRL)-sanctioned Indi­anapolis 500 that year in addi­tion to three CART races. Under Pappas’ direc­tion, Montoya sat on the pole for seven events that season and led 12 of the 20 series events. In 2001, Pappas worked with Nicolas Minassian, Tony Stewart at the Indy 500 and Memo Gidley. In 2002 he was Bruno Junqueira’s engi­neer and their pairing paid off when Junqueira won the Motegi and Denver Champ Car races and finished second in the series cham­pi­onship as well as won pole for the Indy 500 and four Champ Car races. He worked with Tomas Scheckter in 2003, and Darren Manning in 2004 – 2005.

Pappas moved to Panther Racing for 2006 – 2007 as engi­neer for Vitor Meira, who finished fifth in the 2006 series cham­pi­onship. During that time he started having conver­sa­tions with long-time NASCAR crew chief Andy Graves who had started working with Toyota Racing Devel­op­ment (TRD). With a little urging from Graves, Pappas decided to test the NASCAR waters and initial meet­ings led to a job as crew chief for Dale Jarrett and Michael McDowell at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2008. He returned to open-wheel racing in 2009 as Justin Wilson’s race engi­neer at Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) and they brought the team their first win in their 25-year history at Watkins Glen. Pappas worked with E.J. Viso at KV Racing Tech­nology in 2010 and 2011 before reuniting with Wilson at DCR for 2012 – 2013. Wilson and DCR earned their first oval win in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway and a total of 13 top-10 finishes in 2013 en route to a sixth place rank in the season-ending standings.