The 2018 Holley LS Fest West held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is enjoying its second year and by all signs this event is bigger and better and for sure is here to stay. This year the sunny skies, albeit a warm sunny sky, is an improvement over last year when all sorts of weather covered the three day event.
The three-day event has it all with a large manufacturers row, show ‘n’ shine, Dyno Challenge, plenty of high performance driving encompassing drag racing, autocross, road course, drifting, 3S Challenge, and, did we mention the Off-Road Challenge in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway dirt oval. And one last eyeball rubbing excitement for the spectator is the tire burnout spectacular aptly titled the Cinco De Mayo Tire De Fry’O. Not just standing still and burning up tires like normal folks do but full speed spinning, turning, tire burning drifting, with all sorts of going forward, backward and sideways immersed in tire smoking excitement. Yes, this was spectacular.
The events’ driving excitement starts with the autocross and then on Friday followed by the Chevy High Performance High-Noon Shootout. The autocross is a demanding 30-35 seconds of rapid acceleration, hard turning (left and right), and braking with a bit of drifting through the corners just to make sure the excitement level is up there. It’s a great way to get a high performance event off and running.
Autocross brings out every imaginable type of hot rod running an LS powerplant. Lots of the obligatory Camaro’s and Corvettes but thrown into the mix were a Porsche or two, pickups, Datsun Z-car or two, a Mazda mii-pickup, and even a big-ol’ station wagon. The end result would be a couple of mid-32 second runs but the cream of the crop were running 33-34 seconds to negotiate the course.
The Chevy High Performance High-Noon Shootout (taking place, when else, but at noon) took the top eight qualifiers from the mornings autocross qualifying and then they were allowed three runs each to determine the autocross king of the twists and turns. Going home with the top honors was Rich Willhoff with his 427 inch LS powered C6 Corvette. Congratulations for a job well done. Willhoff is no stranger to autocross having competed for about 10 years and within the past 5 or so he has upped his game and is a regular at the Optima Challenge events and also a champion in their ranks. Vette
Photography by John Gilbert, Steven Rupp, Brian Brennan, Taylor Kempkes