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Every dynasty has a starting point, and for Holley's dynasty of car shows that bring fans, racers, and owners together, that starting point has to be the original LS Fest. Now known as LS Fest East, the hills and hollers around Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky will echo with the sound of late-model GM power the weekend of September 9-11, 2022. LS Fest East has offered plenty for both the casual enthusiast and the hard-core participant to take in, with a consistent level of activity from the moment the gates open until the last car has left the property on Sunday. There's plenty to see and do, whether you are suiting up to compete in one of the many events that are taking place, trying to find a good viewing point to watch the action, or are walking through the Manufacturer's Midway to see the latest and greatest in what's out there for your LS or Gen-V LT build.
There will be a lot to take in, so be sure to look for the schedules posted up on banners (or, if you want, you can find the schedule HERE) to make sure you don't miss anything! We look forward to seeing everyone in attendance, and we will be posting up content here on MotorLife as it happens!
For many competitors, the desire to attack every possible class of competition is too much to resist. The Grand Champion compeition gives the hardest of the hardcore competitors a way to prove that their machine is the best all-'rounder at LS Fest East. It has to more than just be fast. Not only does it need to rip on the strip, it better be able to handle a corner or two, stop on a dime with change ready, and live to tell the tale afterwards. Every vehicle in Grand Champion will be on one set of DOT-approved street tires that can't be changed out (excepting catastrophic tire failure). That's three days of cone-dodging, panic-stopping, drag launching abuse. And just to sweeten the pot a little, one vehicle will be invited to compete at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas, Nevada!
Note: The Chevrolet El Camino, GMC Sprint, GMC Caballero, and other coupe-utility type vehicles will be classified as a car for the purpose of competition.
Drag Racing? LS Fest? It goes without saying that the 1320 will be busy the whole weekend as an army of drag racers fill the lanes to the brim. From local good ol' boys hiding a little somethin' under the hood of Grandpa's old Chevy to twin-turbocharged, wheel-hanging beasts that flat-out scream, Beech Bend's dragstrip will be running non-stop. You want quick? You want fast? Get a seat and watch some of the baddest rides in the region go toe-to-toe at the Christmas tree.
The class breakdown:
Autocross is a handling torture test for your vehicle. It will highlight the acceleration, handling and braking of your ride in a marked-out course that will keep your eyes, hands and feet busy from start to finish. Autocross participants get two courses: one set up in Beech Bend's oval track, the other on the skidpad at NCM Motorsports Park.
New for 2022 are Fun Runs. Two drivers can register on the same car for Autocross. Fun Runs vehicles are NOT eligible for competition or awards for either driver.
NCM Motorsports Park's two-mile long West Course beckons road-course junkies and anyone who wants to try their hand at road course racing. Sanctioned by the Ultimate Street Car Association, the primary purpose behind the Road Course Time Attack is safety, learning and fun. The goal is five 20-minute sessions on the course per day, per driver. Enjoy the winding curves and the 2,000-foot long straightaway, and be sure to watch yourself on NCM's infamous Turn 12, better known by its name: "Deception"
The 3S Challenge is what you get when you combine the autocross and drag racing. The challenge begins with a straight-line dash across Beech Bend's oval track before they meet a 180-degree hairpin, a slalom course, and a stop box. Each "run" consists of a lap on the left and right side of the course, with the total of both laps added up, plus any penalties assessed. All runs must be clean runs, so if you see any of our brave orange cones go down in the line of duty, know that the driver responsible has earned a DNF for that run and will have to try again!
Track X is what happens when you combine road course racing and autocross into one single event. Held on NCM Motorsports Park's East Course, Track X is a great way to introduce road course racing to drivers without pushing their car to the ultimate limits. That's not to say that speed won't be involved, however...it is quite easy to hit upwards of 90 miles an hour on the East Course before finding yourself at NCM's most famous set of corners, known collectively as the "Sinkhole". This is not a part of the Grand Champion or any other competition, but instead is set up as a "fun run" event that will allow racers to test their rides out on the track.
Welcome to the only engine-specific drift event anywhere! Holley's LS Fest Drift Challenge brings out a vast range of drivers, teams and machines to come compete. You can expect to see anything from typical fare, like Nissans, BMWs and Corvettes to fourth-gen F-bodies, RX-7s, and who knows what else. As long as the rear wheels are being driven, it meets the safety and tech requirements, and is rocking an LS or Gen-V LT engine under that hood, it's good to go. And they will go, deep into the night. If you love tire smoke and the scream of an engine singing at the top of its lungs, this is where you'll want to be.
Calling all hoons with a taste for well-roasted vulcanized rubber: Welcome back, we've missed you. The Burnout Contest at LS Fest East is where the wild things will be and they are more than ready to put on a show for you. We've got a list of participants already lined up and ready to party, including the likes of:
The burnout pit is open for business Saturday night, just before drifting!
The great lie detector itself will make a return to LS Fest East! The Dyno Challenge dares you to pull onto the rollers, strap down, and find out just how much of that horsepower claim you've been making is legitimate and how much of it is simply hopes and dreams getting blasted out of the tailpipes. Any participant (excepting Off-Road Experience participants) can get their vehicle's horsepower and torque measured up by heading down to the dyno area and signing up on the whiteboard. Sign-up is a first-come, first-served affair, so be sure to sign up early!
Oh, that's not enough for you? Need a sweetener to get a free dyno run? Okay, no problem: Top three power figures for both naturally aspirated vehicles and vehicles with power adders will get awards and prizes. If that won't get you onto the rollers, what will?
JUST ADDED: We've added a new twist to the Dyno Challenge! At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, we will be having a Dyno Shootout. We will be looking for five N/A machines and five rides with power adders to have it out on the dyno. If you want to see some of the baddest machines at Beech Bend spin the rollers, this will be the time to hang around!
The Boxo USA Engine Bolt-On Challenge returns to LS Fest East, but this year the format is all-new: instead of a team-on-team showdown, we will be running a time-trial format. What does this mean? Instead of one major competition, Boxo USA staff will be manning the engine swap tent on Friday and Saturday. Starting at noon on Friday, teams will have the opportunity to challenge the clock and other teams to see who can post the fastest time. Teams that face off together will have winners declared and will have free swag and promo items, but the major prizes will be awarded for the three top fastest overall times on Saturday afternoon at the close of competition.
NEW FOR 2022! Off-roaders have enjoyed our track at LS Fest West over the years...and we are finally bringing that fun out to Bowling Green! Track builder John Goodby of Nor Cal Rock Racing, the genius behind the off-road short course at King of the Hammers, was left to his devices and has created two different courses for those who would rather go play in the dirt. One is designed to help Ultra 4/Pro 2 style vehicle learn to fly, and the other is a slower, more technical obstacle course. Any vehicle is welcomed to come out and play, and that will include the Hooptie X Challenge bought in by the Gambler 500 crew. If you are unfamiliar with Hooptie X, here's all you need to know: the cars are low-buck and the drivers are here to party. You will see cheap beaters learn to fly. It will be a party!
Just want to show up and show off? Not a problem! Beech Bend's car show field will be packed with all sorts of machines, from high-dollar show machines to vehicles that aren't even done yet! We're looking forward to see everyone's pride and joy gleaming in the sun. If you are in a judged class, you do not need to be present for your vehicle to be judged, but if you want to be, inform the car show officials to arrange a time.
Judged classes include:
The gorgeous roads of Warren County, Kentucky are calling. What better way to get a break from the action at Beech Bend than to take part in the Countryside Cruise? Head out and enjoy beautiful, winding roads, see the sights, try some of the local cuisine, and go put some miles on that beautiful machine. Holley will once again be offering up their digital scavenger hunt for the Countryside Cruise. Participants will have a map and a checklist of items that must be photographed as the driver and photographer drive our pre-planned route. Find all of the items (and have the pictures to prove it) and you will be entered into a drawing for a $500 Holley Product Certificate!
Click here to see the route map and the list of items for the scavenger hunt!
So there isn't an LS or LT engine in sight for this competition. It's our shows, and we make the rules. So if we say that anyone 18 years old or older who has a helmet, long pants, and a plastic ride-on Power Wheels-style car that has hat it's electric motors and battery packs removed has the opportunity to battle it out with other delinquents down our hill while fans "encourage" them along with water balloons, we are going to do it! We will be running heat races of six vehicle using a LeMans-style start (that's running across the track to your chariot at the word "go") and from that point on, it's fair game until the end. Bumpng, nudging, or kamikaze impact incidents are all fair game between the start and finish line. Once all of the heat races are run, there will be a Main Event race, then we will run a "Free For All" race with every participant possible.
We also encourage a bit of fun with the Power Wheels event...more than just adults trying to keep a kid's toy in one piece. We will have prizes for the heat race winners and the Main Event winner, and we will also have prizes for Best of Show for the best decorated ride, and Best Costume/Theme award...could be for the Power Wheels, could be for the driver, could be for both. If you need a break from the serious for a moment, you won't want to miss this!
You didn't forget about our two legendary April Fools' Day jokes, did you? We broke out our "Moonshot" NOS plate system and followed it up with our radical "Sky Ram" intake manifold. We even showed you what the Sky Ram can do on the dyno. But you did enter to win both the Sky Ram and the Moonshot...didn't you?
Wait...you didn't? Well, it's not too late! You have until September 11th, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Central time to put your name into the drawing to take home the two wildest creations to come out of Holley. Just remember one thing: these were jokes. Well-built, thought out jokes. They were not designed for use on an engine or in a vehicle and are display models.