Between the autocross, Track-X, drifting Challenge, 3S Challenge, burnout contest, Bolt-on Power Challenge, show ’n shine, and the Dyno Challenge, the Holley LS Fest East in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is obviously known for a multitude of automotive exercises, but the hardcore drag racers come from hundreds, and some even thousands of miles, to take a crack at the Beech Bend Raceway quarter-mile.
The long-standing history of Beech Bend Raceway goes all the way back to the “golden era” of drag racing where the sport’s legends made their way down the picturesque drag strip. Today, the track not only hosts the Holley LS Fest and many other sanctioned events, it also is home to the NHRA Reunion where racers and spectators get a glimpse of what drag racing was like in the good old days. Vintage Gassers, Nostalgia Funny Cars, and front-engine dragsters help bring back the spirit of drag racing from yesteryear.
At the LS Fest East it’s the COPO Camaros that are the main attraction as these racers take their factory-built Chevrolet Performance hot rods and put on an exciting wheels-up, high-performance, drag show.
For the veteran racers Beech Bend can be a quick trip down “memory lane,” while the younger, straight-line warriors look at it as just another piece of quarter-mile of asphalt used to destroy the competition. Regardless of what this facility means to any racer, the idea remains to be the first one to the stripe.
The Holley LS Fest East caters to a number of drag racers that participate in a number of various classes, including the aforementioned COPO Battle at the Green, Grudge Test-N-Tune, Late Model Heads Up, Street King, Chevrolet Performance Stock, Drag Radial, Real Street, Rumble and True Street. There are even those who put together their own unofficial class such as the Stick Shift clas where the winner takes home only bragging rights.
Now, that’s what drag racing is all about.
Go to lsfest.com for more information
Photography by Nick Licata, Taylor Kempkes