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It was on at the exciting autocross from the 2016 Holley LS Fest

They came from all over the United States to annihilate some asphalt

Nov 29, 2016
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Generally, by the seventh time around in most any event, the dust settles and expectations of its success can lean on the conservative side—not so with Holley’s insanely exciting LS Fest. According to company reps, the 2016 version held in Bowling Green, Kentucky, saw double-digit growth at the gate from the previous year, while entries for the Grand Champion portion of the competition sold out earlier than ever. Those are the folks competing for accumulative points in autocross, drag racing, and the 3S Challenge in hopes of becoming the 2016 LS Fest Grand Champion.

The event also featured some of the best drag racing the LS Fest has ever seen, highlighted by 14 late-model COPO Camaros battling it out in the Lingenfelter/SAM COPO class. The wheels-up action was absolutely insane. Other classes included Hooker Blackheart Late-Model Heads-Up, Nitro Gear Street King, Chevrolet Performance Stock, Callies Drag Radial, Wiseco Real Street, Three Pedals Rumble (Index), and 1320 Wheels True Street.

There was also the Earls Dyno Challenge, which saw four-digit numbers from Anthony Peck who spun the rollers in his 2010 Camaro to the tune of 1,290.81 horsepower in the Power Adder class. In the All-Motor class, Keith Sullivan finished in First Place with a 535.68 pull in his 1999 Camaro.

2016 Holley Ls Fest 2/36
2016 Chevrolet Camaro 3/36

The Raymonds Performance Show-N-Shine featured some top-quality rides from all over the country, yet it was the truly amazing 1955 Chevy of Denny Terzich that brought the house down. Details also came to life in the Chevy High Performance Show-N-Shine Shootout, as Gary Hutcherson took top honors with his nicely done 1970 Camaro.

With standing room only, a huge crowd filled the bleachers surrounding the Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge. The idea here is for two teams to swap out a stock engine from two nearly identical cars and replace them with a new LS engine. This year it was CJ Durbin and Tyler Sandau from Moline, Illinois, going up against the father/son duo of Eric and Austin Bujnevicie from Tennessee to perform the task in two third-gen Camaros within the shortest amount of time. The rules state that the car has to be a driving, running car before the clocks stop. It was the team of CJ and Tyler who completed the swap first with a winning time of 1 hour and 26 minutes. They walked away with the LS engine and all of the Holley and MSD components as the prize.

There was also a Countryside Cruise, Road Course Rally, the always crowd-pleasing Drifting Challenge, and a huge manufacturers midway for those looking to upgrade their ride with the best performance products on the market.

2016 Holley Ls Fest Racer 4/36
2016 Holley Ls Fest 5/36

New this year was the addition of a second autocross track set up in the NCM Motorsports Park’s massive pit/parking area. This did two good things: it split the competitors into two groups, which enabled the competitors more track time than in previous events. While one group was at the traditional autocross course at Beech Bend Raceway, the other group was having a go at the course set up at NCM. And with the larger course layout at NCM, competitors could get more speed and let those healthy LS engines out of their cages. Cool, eh?

With three days of fierce competition starting on Friday, by Sunday afternoon hundreds of autocross laps and drag racing runs were in the books. It was an absolute true test of man and machine to see which car and driver would last the longest. In the end it was announced that Mike DuSold in his twin-turbo 1967 Camaro was the 2016 Grand Champion. He finished the weekend with a total of 85 points accumulated from the dragstrip (25 points), NCM Autocross (22 points), Beech Bend Autocross (20 points), and 3S Challenge (18 points). Besides receiving a big-ass trophy and an embroidered jacket, he got a check for $1,000 and an invite to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas.

Chevy High Performance High Noon Shootout

Every year, Chevy High Performance gets involved in the LS Fest by sponsoring the Chevy High Noon Shootout Autocross on Friday. This year we took the top six drivers from the morning Beech Bend autocross session and put them up against each other at noon in a three-lap shootout. The driver with the lowest accumulated time of the three laps was deemed the winner and received a $500 gift certificate from Holley and a nice plaque from Chevy High Performance.

Danny Popp Mike Dusold 2016 Holley Ls Fest 6/36

The 2016 LS Fest Chevy High Performance High Noon Shootout Autocross qualifiers were (L-R) Bret Voelkel, Mike DuSold, Karl Dunn, Josh Leisinger, Danny Popp, and Al Unser Jr.

This year’s Top Six competitors were Mike DuSold, Josh Leisinger, Bret Voelkel, Al Unser Jr. (yes, that Al Unser Jr.), Karl Dunn, and Danny Popp. Once the dust and tire smoke had dissipated, it was Danny Popp taking First Place in a bittersweet win as he piloted the C6 Corvette that belonged to his best friend Todd Rumpke, who just days earlier lost his long battle with cancer. Danny was quick to convey, “Todd was with me the whole time. I really had nothing to do with it.”

We here at Chevy High Performance got to know Todd as a fierce competitor and good friend to everyone involved in what has become a close-knit autocross community. Our condolences go out to Todd’s family, and Danny Popp, who was competing in honor of Todd.

2016 Holley Ls Fest C6 Corvette 7/36

Danny Popp took the Chevy High Performance High Noon Shootout win (98.647 seconds) driving Todd Rumpke’s C6 Corvette, then dedicated the victory to Todd, who unfortunately passed away due to a long battle with cancer just days before the event.

2016 Holley Ls Fest C5 Corvette 8/36

Killing two cones on his second run pretty much put Mike DuSold out of contention. He finished with a three-lap time of 104.673 in the Shootout.

9 2016 Holley Ls Fest C5 Z06 Corvette 9/36

LS Fest regular Karl Dunn brought out his C5 Z06 and managed a time of 100.204 seconds in the Shootout, which was good enough for Second Place.

10 2016 Holley Ls Fest Corvette Josh Leisinger 10/36

Josh Leisinger took Fifth Place in the Shootout with a three-lap total of 101.806 seconds, and killed it on the dragstrip with a 10.978 e.t. (on street tires). He finished tied for Seventh Place overall for the Grand Champion.

2016 Holley Ls Fest Bret Voelkel 11/36

Bret Voelkel took First in the 3S Challenge, Fifth in the Beech Bend Autocross, Fourth in the NCM Autocross, and 25th in the drag race. Those numbers added up to a Second Place overall finish for the Grand Championship. He also took Fourth in the CHP High Noon Shootout.

2016 Holley Ls Fest Al Unser 12/36

Rookie to the LS Fest, but certainly not in the world of racing cars, Al Unser Jr. took the Speedway Motors second-gen Camaro to a Third Place (100.326) finish in the Shootout. As a side note, he took Fifth in the Grand Championship.

Chevy High Noon Shootout Lap Times
Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Total
First Place – Danny Popp 32.859 32.904 32.884 98.647
Second Place – Karl Dunn 33.084 33.464 33.656 100.204
Third Place – Al Unser Jr. 33.689 33.372 33.265 100.326
Fourth Place – Bret Voelkel 33.78 34.185 33.177 101.142
Fifth Place – Josh Leisinger 34.057 33.762 33.987 101.806
Sixth Place – Mike DuSold 33.558 37.892 33.233 104.673, 2 Cones

Overall, the LS Fest is just that: a festival celebrating everything LS powered (and now LT1 powered, too). The huge event draws enthusiasts from all over the country to join in on the action.

For those LS-powered enthusiasts on the west side of the country who wish to get in on the action, Holley recently announced a second LS Fest event that will take place May 5-7, 2017, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Go to holleylsfest.com for more information.

2016 Holley Ls Fest Mike Dusold 13/36
2016 Holley Ls Fest 1967 Camaro 14/36

In his twin-turbo-powered 1967 Camaro, Mike DuSold finished at or near the top in every competition. By doing so, he’s the 2016 LS Fest Grand Champion.

2016 Holley Ls Fest Copo Camaro 15/36

Phillip Giles took the win in the Lingenfelter/SAM COPO Battle at the Green Drag Race. Giles nudged out NHRA Pro Stock veteran Larry Morgan in the final round with a 9.403 (9.400 dial-in) to Morgan’s 9.387 (9.380 dial-in). With 14 entrants, it was the largest number of COPO Camaros ever in competition at the LS Fest.

2016 Holley Ls Fest 1972 Corvette 16/36

Ryan Mathews battled hard all weekend and took the DSE 1972 Corvette to a Seventh Place tie for Grand Champion with 2014 winner Josh Leisinger.

2016 Holley Ls Fest C10 Truck 17/36

Duke Roddy is a regular at LS Fest, and he’s part of the growing trend with guys showing up with classic C10 trucks hitting these events.

1970 Ls Powered Chevrolet Camaro 18/36

The Chevy High Performance Editor’s Choice in the Show-N-Shine Shootout went to Gary Hutcherson and his beautiful LS-powered 1970 Camaro.


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