It’s safe to say that celebrating the LS-based engine is something that any Chevrolet owner can get behind. This example of brand loyalty is what makes the Holley LS Fest so popular; but it’s also the wacky engine swaps; the restomod builds and wicked-fast street cars that make it one of the coolest events of the year. The Holley LS Fest is held at the historic Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It makes perfect sense for Holley to be the title sponsor; since the event is held in its backyard; and it also helps that Holley produces a bunch of great products for LS-powered vehicles. This is certainly on our list of must-go events; and Holley LS Fest 2015 proved to be another awesome year; with drama in the drag racing ranks; a tight battle for the Grand Champion competition and lots of go-fast action throughout the weekend.
We spent the entire 3-day event jumping from one activity to another trying to soak up all the action. The Holley LS Fest offers lots of full throttle racing; whether you like going straight or carving corners; and this year, another element was added to the event with the inclusion of Track X. This event was held at the new National Corvette Museum road course, and it offered the thrill of speed and the challenge of pushing your LS-powered vehicle to the limit. And if that wasn’t enough, you could check out the dyno competition, or the Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge; which featured 1973-‘87 Chevy pickups this year.
In addition to all of the tire-turning fun, there were plenty of cars on display in the Show and Shine area; from stock-appearing, LS-swapped muscle cars to all-out custom builds. Afterhours, many of the participants cruised the strip in Bowling Green and mingled around the host hotel, where a few burnouts may have been performed. Overall, the 2015 Holley LS Fest gave us plenty to look at and we’re bringing you a sampling of our favorite moments. Stay tuned for updates on the 2016 event and plan on joining the fun in your LS-powered Chevrolet!
The Show and Shine area is always full of great cars, and this year was no different. Our die-hard G-body guys should love this one – a super-clean, original-paint ’88 Monte Carlo SS with a Chevrolet Performance Parts carbureted LS376 crate engine under the hood. Byron, Illinois, resident Mike Personette is the owner.
Body color steel wheels and dog dish caps give this ’69 Camaro a sleeper look, and a simple engine combination offers reliable performance. Josh James lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and ran his Camaro in the Rumble class, as well as the True Street class, where it won the 13-second division with a three-run average of 13.003.
Alan Ledford has the perfect cruiser for the Holley LS Fest with his lowdown ’59 Chevy Parkwood station wagon. With American Racing Salt Flat Special wheels tucked in nicely, and a surfboard on top, this wagon has the perfect look. And, the original paint has just the right amount of patina.
We didn’t catch the owner’s name, but we stopped in our tracks when we saw this Nova’s engine bay, which is crammed full of turbochargers. Without question, this twin-turbo LS combination makes a bunch of power and likely offers a big fun factor when the skinny pedal hits the floor.
Tyler Powell put his radical Corvette through the wringer all weekend long, as it was entered in the always-demanding Grand Champion competition. Drag racing, autocross racing, and much more is required to be competitive, and Tyler finished 7th out of more than 80 entries.
There was plenty of drama in the Real Street division, as a class of heavy hitters attacked the quarter-mile. Despite a blown head-gasket in the first round of eliminations, George Farkouh wheeled his American Racing Headers Camaro to the class victory and a very tight points win against Jessie Coulter.
Brian Finch is always a contender in the Grand Champion competition; and his satin white ’71 Camaro is well known in the world of muscle car autocross racing. Brian’s wicked Camaro finished in 4th place in the Grand Champion competition.
It’s hard to believe that a full weight street car with 20-inch wheels and street radials can run low 10s, but Lester Miller proved it every time he made a pass. He ran in the Late Model Heads-Up class, which requires a stock-size tire/wheel combination. The 416ci LS3-based engine cranked out a 10.130 elapsed time for the victory.
The dyno competition stayed busy all weekend, running everything from weekend cruisers, like this beautifully painted C10 pickup, to all out race cars.
Dozens of vendors came to the Holley LS Fest to display products for LS-powered vehicles and the Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center booth had plenty of attractions, including a COPO Camaro that was occasionally fired up to draw even more attention.
If you want to get into the magazine coverage of the Holley LS Fest: Build something that does a wheelstand every single pass. Kurt Anderson’s ’69 Camaro has competed in the Rumble category for many years, but stepped up to the new Street King class this year and ran on a 10.00 index. And he did lots of wheelies, much to our delight.
The Holley LS Fest is home to some of the wildest LS-swapped creations on earth, and this topless K5 Blazer is a cool example. This low slung handling machine features a full rollcage, aluminum race seats, and a little bit of road rash from severe autocross abuse. Jason Brady is the man behind the wheel.