Holley LS Fest Demonstrates Performance of LS Powered Vehicles

By: Dan S | 09/28/2010 < Back to Motor Life Home
Holley's LS Fest showcased LS powered vehicles in a variety of performance arenas. Held at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Sept 10-12th. This first LS Fest was a celebration of any vehicle that’s powered by a GM LS engine, but was more than just a simple show and shine event. Holley’s LS Fest gave participants various opportunities to join in drag racing, autocross, acceleration, braking, and other challenging venues that demonstrated the power potential of the LS engine, and the vehicles that they are used in. Participants who entered in a variety of events, including the Countrywide Cruize, Autocross, Show-N-Shine, Drag Race and Speed Stop, had the opportunity to accumulate points to become the Optima Ultimate Street Car LS Fest Grand Champion. Mark Stielow and his ’69 Camaro edged out the 13 other competitors to become the Grand Champion of the event. Although many GM vehicles were expected to show, including various street-driven to full-competition Camaros, Firebirds, GTO’s, Corvettes and more, there were also a variety of unlikely vehicles sporting an LS engine under the hood. One of the most unique was Ricky Bird’s 1964 Volkswagen Karmen Ghia, which won Best Engineered in the Show-N-Shine event. Other memorable non GM vehicles were Adam Freeman’s 2010 Jeep JK Wranger and Lange Trickel’s 1959 Cadillac Seville. One of the most anticipated events was the Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge. Entries were taken prior to the event to select two participants who were willing to swap their vehicle’s engine with an LS power plant in the shortest time. The winning team also had to drive the car on a predetermined route to win the engine. Justin Dermondy of Williamsburg, Iowa and Corey Ritter from Lexintgon, Kentucky, were the two challengers selected to compete. Ritter and his team did a fantastic job installing one of the LS engines into a 1969 Camaro. But Dermondy and his crew installed an LS engine into a 1970 Olds Cutlass just a bit faster. They completed the job in an amazing 31 minutes and 57 seconds to win the challenge. The LS Fest also had various drag racing and autocross venues that were open to every type of vehicle from street-driven daily drivers, to fully-modified 8-second beasts. Some of the stock LS powered Camaros and GTO’s showed some impressive low ET’s in the quarter-mile. True Street participants for example, went head-to-head to see who had the fastest street car at the event. All entries had to participate in a 30 mile street cruise, then head down the race track on D.O.T approved tires. The fastest was David Childress in his ’98 TransAm, who ran a 9.611 (average of three passes) in the 9-second class. Although a 9-second quarter-mile pass on D.O.T. tires is impressive, the fastest LS powered vehicle at the event belonged to Mark Koehler from Cihcy, Ohio, who ran a 7.511 at 189.6 mph in his 2000 model Pontiac TransAm. The Autocross challenge was also great to watch, as a variety of vintage and late-model vehicles competed. Brian Nutter had the fastest time in the Comp-Tire autocross, while Brian Finch took his ’66 Corvette around in the fastest time to win the Street-Tire competition. Many of these same competitors also took part in the 0-60-0 mph acceleration and braking challenge as well. “We were hoping for a good turnout for this inaugural event,” said Bill Tichenor, Marketing Manager at Holley. “We were very pleased at the amount of participants who came and competed. The atmosphere of performance and competition definitely left an impression for many who can’t wait for next year.” The Holley LS Fest was a great venue for showcasing the performance of LS engine based vehicles in one location. To find out more information on the event, see photos, videos and racing results, visit the Holley LS Fest website at
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