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.
Holley also displayed its...
Holley also displayed its Modular Hi-Ram intake manifolds for GM LS3/L92 engines as a cost-effective alternative to fabricated sheetmetal units. Its modular base is designed to accept a wide variety of carbureted and EFI combinations. It features a tapered cross-section with runner lengths designed to perform well with either naturally aspirated or forced-induction applications with max power at 7,000-8,000 rpm.
A manufacturers’ midway allowed...
A manufacturers’ midway allowed participants a chance to browse all of the latest and greatest LS-related products. Holley displayed its Dominator EFI kit installed in a C5 Corvette. The Dominator ECU is the ultimate vehicle management system with self-tuning abilities intended for street or race use. With nearly unlimited capabilities, it will control anything from turbocharger boost to multiple stages of nitrous, to water-methanol injection. The ECU will even serve as its own data acquisition center with 2GB of memory to hold four calibrations.
BMR showcased their tubular...
BMR showcased their tubular K-member assembly for ’93-02 F-body Camaros, including K-members, A-arms, springs, coilovers, manual steering conversion, and strut tower brace..
Jeff Cleary owns this beautiful...
Jeff Cleary owns this beautiful ’67 Corvette, and he made the drive from Chesapeake, Virginia. Powering the C2 is a completely stock LS7, which had more than enough oats to propel him into the 10s on street tires.
Paul Riley’s first experience...
Paul Riley’s first experience on the autocross was a good one, as he spent most of the weekend flogging his BMR suspension equipped ’00 SS through the cones.
Robin Lawrence brought out...
Robin Lawrence brought out his nitrous-packing 440ci LSX-powered Nova. Competing in the GM High-Tech Performance magazine–sponsored Shut Your Face race, Lawrence took home the win, running 8.31 at 173 mph over Mike Kostick’s slower 8.65 at 136 pass.
James Kirtley from Elizabethtown,...
James Kirtley from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, earned a Third Place win during Sunday’s CHP Show & Shine with his ’78 Malibu. The ultrasano street machine runs 10.90s at 125 mph with its carbureted 6.0 liter that’s topped with a set TFS 220 cylinder heads and a Nitrous Express kit.
Without a doubt, Holley’s inaugural LS Fest was a complete hit, and we’re already anticipating next year’s event! We also need to thank Holley for allowing us to participate by integrating our own Chevy High Noon Shootout into the weekend’s program.
Friday consisted of our Outlaw 8.5 heads-up race, Saturday featured our Autocross Invitational, and Sunday was the Show & Shine. Every First Place winner received a $1,500 gift certificate good for anything from the Holley lineup or brand family, along with a personalized Chevy High Performance jacket. For the Second and Third Place winners, each received a plaque for their valiant efforts.
We’re definitely bringing back our Chevy High Noon Shootout for 2011, so if you would like to be a part of it, get online and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include several high-res images of your ride, the Shootout you want to be in, and a detailed list of your combination.
|Autocross Invitational |
|NAME ||CAR # ||TIME |
|Brian Nutter ||159 ||1:02.374 |
|Mark Stielow ||188 ||1:04.149 |
|Brian Finch ||154 ||1:04.209 |
|Brett Voelkel ||211 ||1:05.803 |
|Eric Cederburg ||129 ||1:07.350 |
|Stacy Tucker ||161 ||1:07.750 |
|Mark Turner ||255 ||1:08.788 |
|Yancy Johns ||213 ||1:10.301 |
|Luke Hawkins ||132 ||1:10.379 |
|Paul Riley ||264 ||1:10.655 |
|Greg Schneider ||212 ||1:11.596 |
|Mike Strinich ||104 ||1:11.765 |
|Tony Bulch ||234 ||1:15.855 |
|Outlaw 8.5 |
|NAME ||CAR |
|Paul Falcon ||’02 Firebird |
|Show & Shine |
|NAME ||CAR |
|Mike Cornelius ||’69 Camaro |
|Jeff Cleary ||’67 Corvette |
|James Kirtley ||’78 Malibu |
|RideTech & Camaro Performers Autocross Winners |
|NAME ||CAR # ||TIME |
|Brian Nutter ||159 ||1:02.286 |
|Brian Finch ||154 ||1:03.024 |
|Wayne Furr ||128 ||1:03.223 |
|Mark Stielow ||188 ||1:03.835 |
|Mark Grodensien ||181 ||1:04.709 |
|Mark Turner ||255 ||1:04.119 |
|Erik Cederberg ||129 ||1:04.120 |
|Stacy Tucker ||161 ||1:04.973 |
|Bret Voelkel ||211 ||1:05.079 |
|Yancy Johns ||123 ||1:06.053 |
|Paul Riley ||264 ||1:07.313 |
|Jim Mueller ||131 ||1:07.599 |
|Allan Miller ||192 ||1:07.867 |
|Luke Hawkins ||132 ||1:08.488 |
|Chris Light ||290 ||1:08.770 |
|James Roulett ||229 ||1:09.654 |
|Baer Speed Stop Challenge Winners |
|CLASS NAME ||DRIVER ||CAR # ||TIME |
|Non ABS Street Tire ||Mark Stielow ||188 ||8.08 |
| ||Brian Finch ||154 ||9.01 |
|Non ABS Comp Tire ||Mark Greenisen ||181 ||9.70 |
|ABS Comp Tire ||Allan Miller ||192 ||7.56 |
|ABS Street Tire ||Ted Timmerman ||160 ||8.77 |
| ||Luke Hawkins ||132 ||9.16 |
Mark Stielow out of Beverly...
Mark Stielow out of Beverly Hills, Michigan, brought out his highly recognized ’69 Camaro, dubbed “Red Devil”, and took charge of the Autocross competition. Underhood was a 427ci LS9 generating well over 750 hp and 800-plus lb-ft of torque. When it came to the chassis and suspension modifications, it was all Detroit Speed components: mini-tub, Quadra Link, and subframe setup. Out of the 13 competitors, Stielow took the win with a 1:04.149 time. Right on his heels was Brian Finch with his ’71 Camaro, who ran 1:04.209.
Our Show & Shine winner was...
Our Show & Shine winner was Mike Cornelius, a Bowling Green, Kentucky, local, who brought out his beautiful ’69 Camaro. Motivating the first-gen is a mildly modified 5.3L LS backed by a 200-4R transmission. For whoa power, Cornelius opted for a complete set of binders from an ’02 Camaro.
|LS Fest Grand Champion Scoring |
|FINAL STANDING ||NAME |
|1 ||Mark Stielow |
|2 ||Brian Nutter |
|3 ||Brian Finch |
|4 ||Ted Timmerman |
|5 ||Bret Voelkel |
|6 ||James Rowlett |
|7 ||Greg Schneider |
|8 ||Robert Bertelsen |
|8 ||Stacy Tucker |
|8 ||Yancy Johns |
|11 ||Micheal Smith |
|12 ||Nick Licata |
|13 ||Chris Nichols |
|14 ||Carl Gentile |
Photo by Justin Cesle
Photo by Justin Cesle
Paul Falcon hauled his fourth-gen Firebird from Durham, North Carolina, to compete in our Outlaw 8.5 heads-up class. The rules were limited to three things: It’s an eighth-mile race, you had to have an LS powerplant, and everyone was limited to 8.5-inch-wide slicks. Suffice to say, there was plenty of interest in the class through emails, but when it came to race day, Falcon was the only man to brave the weather forecasts. Unfortunately for us, the worst of the rain came in during Friday’s qualifying session. Even so, Falcon did get down the track by the event’s close, running 5.88 at 120 mph with a sick 1.29 60-foot.
Brian Nutter brought out his...
Brian Nutter brought out his 430-rwhp ’02 Z06 to join in on the action. Since our rules required street tires with a minimum 200 treadwear rating, Nutter entered our exhibition class to show what a prepped Z06 could do on a set of Hoosier A6 competition radials. It’s safe to say his combination is well sorted out, and his best efforts netted him with an incredible 1:02.374 time.