So my car threw a CEL last morning and it turned out to be PO402: EGR Flow Excessive Detected. So a thorough intake manifold cleaning was needed. So I dropped the car off at Sports and Compacts this morning to get that done.
Also, I took the opportunity and asked them to have a look at the front suspension and see what makes the popping noise. One of the ideas was that it could be the front sway bar binding up.
So the intake is spic and span now, and all the front suspension was checked through and through, two bolts were tightened (none of which were removed or loosened during the sping upgrade), but everything seems to be in order.
So my next step is to play with the shock hardness settings to see if softening the front some will help. After that, when I upgrade the sway bar, the hope is that the added stiffness will make that popping noise go away.