Holley LS Fest - Southern Fun
Celebrating a New Breed of Power at Holley’s First LS Fest
From the April, 2011 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Sean Haggai & Henry De Los Santos
Photography by Henry De Los Santos
The hot-rodding spirit is as American as apple pie, burnouts, baseball, and drive-in movies. And what better place to showcase that strength than in the green heavy hills of the South? Never was that more evident than at the Beech Bend Parkway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was there, during the weekend of Sept. 9-11, 2010, an all-out assault on the grounds was underway.
The good folks at Holley came up with an event unlike any other. With the popularity of LS powerplants skyrocketing, it only made sense to celebrate them with an event that was completely dedicated to all things LS related. The three-day event proved to be a big hit and included heads-up drag racing, autocrossing, a 0-to-60-to-0 Speed Stop Challenge, an engine swap challenge, a show ’n’ shine, and of course, the countryside cruise. Even a manufacturers’ midway allowed show goers to check out the latest in LS technology. While the weather didn’t cooperate at first, it failed to stop the fun, and participants were lining up to run their rides. The rules were simple, only requiring each participating vehicle to be powered by an LS engine. This included anything from the truck-based 5.3 liters, LS9s, and race-bred LSXs. For the autocross portion, rubber was to be rated no less than 180 treadwear to compete. During the events, class champions were crowned, as was an overall event champion who participated in multiple events.
It was southern hospitality at its finest at Holley’s hometown track. If you weren’t there, don’t worry. We were there in full force to cover all of the gear-slamming fun, and we have to say, if you have an LS, this was the place to be. Holley’s first year with the event was such a slam dunk, they’ve already released the date for next year’s event. Don’t miss out because we’ll be there again.
Holley opened up the autocross...
Holley opened up the autocross course to all participating LS-powered vehicles. This gave first-time and avid autocrossers the chance to strut their stuff with unlimited runs for the entire event. The course even offered up helmets to first-time drivers or passengers who needed them. Best part is, once you ran your vehicle on the autocross track, you got to jump back in line for more fun!
Brain Finch is no stranger...
Brain Finch is no stranger to CHP, having graced our pages in the past. Finch dominated the competition with slot-car-like maneuvering and blazed through the RideTech- and Camaro Performers–sponsored course with a 1:03.223. His ’71 Camaro is currently powered by a 418ci LS3, featuring a Scat rotating assembly and relies on a FAST 102 intake and throttle body for induction duties.
BMR front man Allan Miller...
BMR front man Allan Miller had its test car out, proving it could pull triple duty on the autocross, dragstrip, and speed stop challenge with wheel and tire swaps between events. It was outfitted with all of BMR’s latest fifth-gen suspension, including upper and lower control arms with springs, front and rear sway bars, subframe connectors, and rear trailing arms. Using a built TH400 on the strip with a rear set of Mickey Thompson ET Street Drag Radials, the BMR Camaro was able to click off an 11.26 at 121 mph. For the autocross and speed stop challenge, Miller ran Toyo R888 rubber with the factory brake setup.
Luke Hawkins made his first...
Luke Hawkins made his first autocross experience count at this year’s LS Fest. His yellow ’02 Z06 was no chump either, making 27 runs on the course with a Second Place finish during the Speed Stop Challenge in the ABS street tire class. The Vette was outfitted with C6 Z06 front and rear caliper upgrades, including DBA 5000 two-piece rotors, Carbotech front pads, and factory ’07 Z06 pads in the rear. A set of long-tube headers, an X-pipe, and the titanium bypass modification generated 390 rwhp and got down the quarter-mile to the tune of 11.84. Wheels are factory Z06-issued 18x10.50 up front with BFGoodrich KDW P275/35R18s up front and P335/30R18s out back. To fit the big rubber out back, Hawkins mini-tubbed the Z and widened the rear wheels by 11/2 inches.
The Baer Speed Stop Challenge...
The Baer Speed Stop Challenge proved to be challenging, as competitors were required to accelerate from a dead stop and come to a halt in a predetermined stop box in the shortest amount of time to win. All eyes were focused on Brian Finch as he had one of the more spectacular moments. At the end of the day, Finch took home the runner-up spot with a time of 9.01.
Erik Cederberg of Torq in...
Erik Cederberg of Torq in Miramar, Florida, not only made the long haul from Miami in his ’10 Camaro but also made the most passes on the autocross course, too. Cederberg’s blacked-out fifth-gen performed well on Pfadt coilovers, sway bars, trailing arms, and toe links, darting through the autocross timing lights with a best time of 1:04.709. For power, Cederberg’s Camaro produces nearly 500 to the wheels with a set of L92 CNC-ported cylinder heads, a custom set of Torq long-tube headers, and ’stick for his LS3. It blasted through the Baer Speed Stop Challenge with a 9.1.
If heads-up drag racing is...
If heads-up drag racing is up your alley, LS Fest had plenty of that, too. This is where the quickest and fastest LS-powered cars could be found dueling it out in side-by-side action. As soon as the clouds cleared, everything from Drag Radial, True Street, True Ten Five, and even an Unlimited class was there to battle it out.
How quickly can you swap an...
How quickly can you swap an engine? Car Craft magazine sponsored the Engine Swap Challenge and pitted Justin Dermody’s ’70 Cutlass against Corey Ritter’s ’69 Camaro in an all-out battle against each other and the clock. The rules were simple: Swap in the supplied LS engine first, get it running, and win! Holley estimated it would take two hours, but Dermody’s crew completed the swap in a blistering 31 minutes and 57 seconds and took home the LS engine, too.
Proving editors can drive...
Proving editors can drive too, Nick Licata from Camaro Performers muscled around his ’01 Z28 on both the autocross track and through the speed stop challenge. Full Global West suspension was installed with New Gen 18-wheels, 14-inch Wilwood brakes, and Nitto rubber. Power came from a factory LS1 with a COMP cam, Patriot cylinder heads, and JBA headers. Licata managed to put down a respectable 1:06.053 on the autocross track before busting a front tie-rod loose.
Another familiar sight was...
Another familiar sight was DSE’s ’69 Camaro. The first-gen featured its complete chassis lineup, along with the 14-inch Baer 6S brake package front and rear. A newly outfitted Mast Motorsports L99 stroked to 6.8L produced 570 hp and 535 lb-ft of twist.
Powering Mark Turner’s mean...
Powering Mark Turner’s mean ’69 Camaro was a 427ci LS7 complete with Trick Flow Specialties cylinder heads, a Bullet cam, and a FAST intake manifold. Turner was also running a DSE front subframe with a Quadra Link rear.