The 3rd annual GM Performance Parts LSX Shootout, October 15-18, proved to be the year when the event became too big for its britches, so to speak, where the LSX scene boiled over like a pot of spaghetti. The pits at Memphis Motorsports Park were as overcrowded as the race schedule, which, after a record number of wrecks and breakages, ran over to Monday (October 19th) to finish eliminations. Much like the rioting that occurred in Philadelphia following the 2008 World Series, it wasn't pretty. But for a true LSX enthusiast, in a way this was a very positive sign because it certainly made the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) and GMPP take notice. As a result, changes for next year's program (discussed elsewhere in this issue) were made immediately following the event.
Despite its growing pains, many new LSX records were set in Memphis. Chilly (and sometimes even frigid) air throughout the weekend helped set the stage for some impressive times in not only the heads-up classes, but brackets as well. The School of Automotive Machinists set a new record for naturally aspirated LS1s in the All Motor category, Texas Speed beat its previous heads/cam record in bracket, and Fastlane became the fastest 2010 Camaro (to name a few) in the GMHTP 2010 Camaro Shootout. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what the LSX Shootout is all about. Buckle yourselves in as GMHTP takes you wheels-up in Memphis.
Tremec LSX True Street Challenge
Truth be told, this year's True Street class was more about pure determination and grit than just having a grand old time. After completing the 30-mile cruise, which is required for all participants, the True Street competitors have to run 3 "back-to-back" passes, without ever leaving the staging lanes or doing any work to their cars. In perfect conditions, this is hard enough. Unfortunately, the 2009 event was riddled with breakdowns and slowdowns, keeping most of these diehard racers in the staging lanes for over 7 hours! Yeah, 7 hours, in the cold, with ever-changing track conditions and a setting sun. On top of all that, they still needed to maintain bracket-like consistency, since each of the three runs is averaged to determine the class and overall winners. Even in the face of such adversity, we witnessed the first ever 8-second average, several low 9 and low 10-second races, and a ton of truly fantastic street racers.
ERL Performance All Motor
For the purist, All Motor is where it's at. Clearly it is one of the most difficult to be competitive, as you spend twice as much money to run a second or two slower. But, like all the heads-up classes, it manages to push the envelope and demonstrate what the LS platform is truly capable. Some might consider it a bit highbrow; some might just consider it foolish. However, one thing is for certain, you haven't lived until you have heard an LSx scream to over 9,000 rpm. This year's class of All Motor contestants had a few absentees, a few familiar faces, and a few fresh faces-all of which came to play.
GM High-Tech Performance 2010 Camaro Shootout
As the 2010 Camaros began rolling off the assembly line and into our driveways, it seemed only logical to have a fifth-gen class at this year's Shootout. With rules geared towards street cars, and a stipulation that cars would have to qualify and compete in True Street prior to squaring off against other 2010s, there was definitely the potential for timeslips ranging between high 9s all the way to low 13s. And given the heads-up nature of the race, it was really anyone's guess as to who would win an LSX block and a feature in GMHTP.
JE Pistons Lsx Drag Radial
Months before arriving in Memphis, the Drag Radial battle had already begun to heat up. With much talk concerning the rules and the future of Drag Radial racing, the message boards, bench racers, and fans alike, came into Memphis with little idea what to expect for this year's big show. Fortunately, several new cars were slated to attend and several old combos had seen major changes in the months leading up to the big event. For fans of LSX Drag Radial, the racing certainly lived up to the hype. Almost all of the competitors agreed it would take a 7.50 or better to win the race, and everyone made sure to bring more than enough horsepower to the track. Late Model Racecraft made some impressive hits with a completely untested and much anticipated twin-turbo Firehawk, while the Ohio Boys team showed just how consistent their well-tested combinations can be. At the end of a very long weekend, Mike Brown pedaled his way to the top spot, a victory that was well deserved coming off of last year's tough luck.