September 5th-7th marked the 5th annual Holley LS Fest, which means that it has come and gone. The 2014 LS Fest was by far the largest incarnation of the event yet with over 10,000 in attendance and over 500 participating LS-powered cars. Congratulations are in order for all of the participants who had the chance to enjoy and contribute to the event. Even bigger congratulations are in order for those who managed to claim some hardware and prize money. Here is the recap.
Drag Racing presented by Scoggin Dickey Parts Center and Engine Power TV
The Chevy High Performance Magazine LSX Drag Radial class is home to some of the heaviest hitters in 1/8 mile LS drag racing today. In the headline class, Mark Carlyle brought home the trophy in his Atomic Fusion C6 Corvette Z06. Mark beat out last year’s champion Mike Brown in the final round, running a 4.577 at 173.38 mph, besting Brown’s 4.915 at 168.89 mph.
The School of Automotive Machinists LSX All Motor class features the fastest naturally aspirated LS based race cars in the world in 1/4 mile racing. Judson Massingill, the director and founder of the School of Automotive Machinists, once again showed that he is the cream of the All Motor crop. His SAM Racing Camaro SS ousted Don Baskin’s Chevy II in the finals by making the best All Motor pass of the weekend with an elapsed time of 8.198 at 165.52 mph.
The Wiseco Performance Products LSX Real Street class featured some of the closest and most intense 1/4 mile racing of the weekend. This class features a highly restrictive set of rules which limits tire size, turbo/supercharger/nitrous jet size, as well as drivetrain and chassis configurations which keeps these cars true to their street car roots. Greg Delaney made his way to the finals in his 2000 Pontiac Trans Am, where he squared off with Paul Falcon’s 4th gen Firebird. Delaney was able to drive past Falcon who posted the better reaction time, but was not able to hang on as Delaney’s Trans Am posted a 8.049 elapsed time at 172.54 mph.
The PAC Racing Springs Pro Extreme LSX class which features a no holds barred rules listing, allowing almost any LS-powered car on the planet to compete, as long as they could keep up. David Adkins was able to come out on top this year. David posted a 4.773 1/8 mile elapsed time, trapping 150.77 mph.
RCI Performance LSX True Street seeks out the baddest LS-powered street cars in the world. To prove their roadworthiness, all participants must first complete a 30 mile cruise through the surrounding area with no support. Once they successfully complete this part of the cruise, competitors let their cars cool down for 30 minutes, then make back-to-back-to-back passes. Chris Bishir’s twin turbo S10 proved to be up to the task this weekend, posting an 8.981 average elapsed time to win his second consecutive True Street win.
The Comp Cams LSX Rumble class is the most popular drag racing class thanks to its open rule format and index racing. Being consistent and having good reaction times are as important as having a fast car. Harold Harved’s and Nicholas Massengale’s 2001 Camaros met in the finals after making their way through a 90 car field. With both cars dialed in at the same 12.0 index, it would be a race to the finish line. Massengale got a huge jump at the tree, but Harved was able to pull past him to secure the victory with a 12.018 elapsed time at 110.46 mph, accompanied by a 0.218 reaction time.
The Raymond’s Performance 5th gen Camaro class also ran under the index format to even up the field. Jenna Wilson, who dialed in at 10.0, met Tim Emberton, who dialed in at 12.50, in the finals. Emberton ran closer to his index, but his reaction time allowed Wilson to secure the victory with a 10.561 elapsed time at 108.04 mph.
In order to get the new for 2014 C7 Corvette owners involved, LS Fest included the Lingenfelter Performance Engineering C7 index class this year. Brent Malone met Haley Bounsavall in the finals. Bounsavall broke out by .04 seconds, handing the victory to Malone.
The Lingenfelter Performance Engineering COPO shootout runs under the index format due to the various different combinations that are available for the COPO cars. Dial-ins are not restricted to half second intervals in this class though. James Genovese met Brian Massingill in the finals. Their dial-ins were 9.95 and 9.30, respectively. However, the dial-ins were moot as Massingill red-lighted, handing the victory to Genovese who broke out by running an 9.811 elapsed time at 141.62 mph.
Lucas Oil Drift Challenge presented by WreckedMagazine.com
The drifting portion of LS Fest has become one of the most popular events. In contrast to other motorsports, runs are judged subjectively based on entry speed, line clipping, angle & counter steer, and presentation. 2014 saw a new champion, with Nate Hamilton claiming the trophy in his S13 Nissan 240SX, making his way past Steve Topping in a tandem final that required two runs to determine the winner.
Autocross presented by QA1 and Vette Magazine
The autocross challenge was divided into two portions. The first was an all-run format to see who could put together the single fastest time of the event. Danny Popp was able to repeat his autocross performance from last year, securing the number one overall time despite some fierce competition. Popp held a 0.295 second advantage over second place.
The five fastest cars then moved on to the autocross shootout, where each driver made three runs, and their cumulative time of those three runs decided the autocross shootout champion. The top five raw times were posted by Danny Popp (33.604), Johnny Cichowski (33.899), Josh Leisinger (33.974), Tyler Powell (33.982), and Mike Dusold (34.175). In the autocross shootout, Johnny Cichowski managed to repeat his performance from last year, beating the defending Grand Champion by 0.093 seconds with a 100.826 cumulative time.
3S Challenge presented by Baer Brakes and Super Chevy Magazine
The speed, stop, and steering challenge could be considered a hybrid between drag racing and autocross. Competitors must navigate the short course and come to a stop within the designated braking area. Since there are two lanes, one featuring a left turn, and one featuring a right turn, drivers’ times are a cumulative between their best passes in the left and right lanes. Danny Popp edged out Josh Leisinger by 0.2 seconds with a 22.3 cumulative time to become the 3S champion.
Holley LS Fest Grand Champion
The Grand Champion is determined based on results in drag racing, autocross, and the 3S challenge, with 5 bonus points being awarded for participating in the countryside cruise and 5 points being awarded for participating in the show-n-shine. Josh Leisinger won by the smallest margin in LS Fest history, edging defending champion Danny Popp out by one point. On his way to victory, Josh ran a 10.1 second quarter mile, the fastest pass in Grand Champion history.
Optima Batteries Spirit of the Event Award
Randall Farless has been at every LS Fest event since its inception. Randall was a spectator the first year, and has been an ever-improving participant since then. This year, Randall finished 10th overall in the Grand Champion competition. Randall’s effort and attitude was awarded with an invitation to SEMA and the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, which both take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dyno Challenge presented by ERL Performance Inc. and Bangshift.com
The dyno challenge was separated into two categories, one for naturally aspirated combinations, and one for power adder combos. Anthony Cooper’s 2002 Camaro brought home the naturally aspirated crown for the second year in a row by putting down 564 horsepower. Anthony Peck’s LS-swapped 1988 Ford Mustang outclassed the rest of the power adder field by 415 horsepower, putting down an amazing 1300 horsepower.
Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge
The always popular engine swap challenge is a race between two-man teams to see who can swap an LS engine into a previously running non-LS car the fastest. This year, Mike Edwards and Tyler Lauters from Tuscaloosa, Alabama mastered the G-body shuffle in two hours and nine seconds. They edged out a great effort by Will Meyst and Martin DeGumbia from Middletown, Connecticut to win the challenge and the engine.
Bowler Performance Countryside Cruise & Scavenger Hunt
To add a little competition to our countryside cruise, we picked over 50 objects to photograph on the route. Tabitha Hoover was this year’s winner, finding the most items on the scavenger hunt in her 1956 Chevrolet 210.
Show-And-Shine presented by Snap-On Tools and LS1tech
The show-and-shine competition was comprised of 19 different categories to encompass every conceivable type of vehicle that could be LS swapped. To view show-and-shine pictures, please paste this link into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152633533331192.1073741846.284440856191&type=3
Best street machine – Kevin Gray’s 1989 Pontiac Firebird
Best all access – Gordie Rutkowski’s 1966 Chevrolet Wagon
Best late model – Michael & Stacy Dodson’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro
Best classic custom – Troy Russell’s 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air
Best classic truck – Calvin Andrews’ 1970 Chevrolet C/10
Best interior – Troy Russell’s 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air
Best non-domestic – Zack Nielsen’s 2002 Lexus
Best street rod – Rocky Rowland’s 1963 GMC Pickup
Best muscle truck – Tom Hartmann’s 1995 Chevrolet S10
Best late model truck – Jason Logan’s 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
Best under construction – Kyle Katzenbach’s 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS
Just because – Michael McCoy’s 2014 Chevrolet Camaro
Best muscle car – Leslie Jones’ 1968 Pontiac Firebird
Best paint – Steve Owens’ 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Best engine – Johney Matney’s 2012 Chevrolet Camaro
Sponsor pick – Deb McGilton’s 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Best engineered – Bob Bertlesen’s 1969 Chevrolet Truck
Holley president’s pick – Drew Strazar’s 1988 Jeep Wrangler
Best of show – Calvin Andrews’ 1970 Chevrolet Truck