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Second Annual Holley LS Fest - Lightning Strikes Twice

2nd Annual Holley LS Fest causes quite a splash

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It was September 2010 when the folks at Holley made their presence more widely known in the LS world by dreaming up the inaugural Holley LS Fest held in their home digs of Bowling Green, Kentucky, at nearby Beech Bend Raceway Park. The first-time event was a huge success, and with extensive media coverage, good old-fashioned word of mouth, and new-school social media accounts buzzing, the momentum carried over into the Second Annual Holley LS Fest.

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We headed over to the same venue this past September for some exciting automotive mayhem. The hype was well-deserved, and the second annual shindig was twice as large as the inaugural party. And with the first LS Fest firmly in the books, this year’s event was ran even smoother and more efficiently than the last. The only interruption was a late shower on Saturday evening, which hung around and gave us early Sunday morning spritz, causing some minor concern for the racing being able to finish up on time. But the precipitation had little affect on the autocross competitors as they had no problem dodging cones on a wet course. “Most of these cars are driven on the street as well as the track, so the rain only makes the autocross more interesting,” remarked Bret Voelkel of Ridetech. “Besides, that’s what windshield wipers are for, right?”

If you’re unfamiliar with the components of the LS Fest, it’s set up similar to a “Triathaon.” Competitors (anyone can race with the only stipulation being that their car be LS powered) enter their cars in three different forms of competition: drag racing, autocross, and a speed-stop challenge; with extra points awarded to those who take part in a 35-mile countryside cruise (to prove your car can be street-driven for a good distance without issue) and the show and shine. The beauty of the event is that you are welcome to participate in one, two, or all three of the competitions. The person who accumulates the most combined points in the three is awarded a big-ass trophy and major bragging rights as Grand Champion of the Holley LS Fest. The winner also receives an invitation to the most highly anticipated event of the year: The Optima Street Car Invitational held on November 5th, at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada.

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We are happy to report that once again a Camaro (Mark Stielow in his ’69 won the inaugural event) made it’s way into the Winner’s Circle, as Detroit Speed's Kyle Tucker took top honors with his awesome ’70. Actually, Camaros dominated the Top Five. Brian Finch (’71) shared Second Place with Mark Stielow (’69), while Edward Timmerman (’99) took Fourth, and Jeff Schwarts (’02 Ultima GTR) rounded out the Top Five.

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The autocross was sponsored by Camaro Performers magazine and Ridetech, while Baer Brakes took sponsorship of the Speed-Stop Challenge. A number of aftermarket speed parts companies sponsored the various classes of drag racing.

Although not part of the competition for Grand Champion, a Dyno Challenge, Engine Swap Challenge, and Drifting Challenge were included for additional excitement. Even though none of the drifting cars were Camaros (or even Chevrolet bodied, for that matter), they drew a slew of attention and featured LS power under their hoods. Dan Savage took First Place, while Carl Nadeu and James Evans took Second and Third respectively.

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With street car driving competitions becoming more popular every year, there is plenty of “play time” for anyone with the hankerin’ to take their car and hang it all out in a controlled, safe environment. And isn’t that why we bolt on all those performance goodies in the first place?



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