View Full Version : Holley LS Fest Celebrates Five Years- 2014 Complete Recap

09-16-2014, 05:54 PM
Celebrating 5 Years
September 5-7, 2014
Bowling Green, KY


Holley LS Fest started as a small event back in 2010 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The first event survived thunderstorms and several downpours. Drivers really didn’t mind the rain as they took to the autocross to test their cars on the slippery course. This made for some awesome photography as seen below (photos provided by Holley LS Facebook Page)

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Back in 2010 there were some fast cars, amazing drivers and tough competition. Skip forward five years and not only has the event grown, but the competition has gotten tougher.


The event stretches out over the course of two days. LS Fest originally started with a couple events including drag racing, an autocross and a brake stop challenge. The 2014 event offered quite a bit more for the drivers and spectators:

Drag racing- In order to qualify for the overall event win, you must participate in this event. Most other pro-touring race events do not include a drag race. At LS Fest points are everything and drag racing earns you points. A handful of competitors come from a drag racing background, while others have SCCA autocross and track experience. This allows for an even playing field among the competitors.


There are also drivers who come to LS Fest solely to drag race. Each class is awarded on Sunday in which winners also go home with a nice payout.

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Autocross- One of the most anticipated parts of LS Fest. Very few will let you run in the rain, but Holley LS Fest makes an exception. This year the event did not experience any rain. The course looked fast and included technical elements that pushed drivers and cars to their limits. When it came down to the final results the times were close. It literally came down to a fraction of a second between the three point leaders.


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3S Challenge- Better known in our world as a speed stop challenge. Here’s a quick insight from Danny Popp on just how close the results for this section were:


A country side cruise along with a scavenger hunt- These elements are always fun for competitors. Rather than just staying at the track and running your car all weekend, this event allowed drivers a chance to get out, see the surrounding town and visit new places. Though it was not required to participate in this part of the event, an extra five bonus points always helps.

Show-n-Shine- There are people that may want to come out with their vehicles and watch what’s going on as a spectator, but still want to be part of the event. The Show-n-Shine allows people to do just this.

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Competitors were also encouraged to have their car judged for an additional five points. When the scores were as close as they were this year, any points help. Choosing not to participate in either the cruise or the Show-n-Shine could have easily been the result of losing the overall win.


Other parts of the event that were not mandatory for the overall win were the dyno competition, the engine swap contest and the drift competition.

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There was always something going on at LS Fest. If the autocross was shut down, then the drift compettion was taking place, the Show-n-Shine was filled with cars, or the Drag Strip was hot. Speaking of the drift competition let’s highlight that for a minute and see what they had to offer at LS Fest:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/c5lDz-3WC3o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5lDz-3WC3o)

All of the cars featured in the video above are LS powered. There are not too many events that would bring together drift and muscle car enthusiasts. After watching this video it is hard not to have respect for these cars and drivers.

As for the competition; there were some of the best competitors and most advanced cars in our pro-touring community that came out to participate in this year’s event. Here’s a glance at what competitors were up against:

Billy Utley- Winner of the Chevy High Performance High Noon Autocross Shootout. Utley and his '72 Nova are no stranger to our pro-touring race circuit. During Friday's shootout Utley took the lead by .7 seconds, winning the event.


Danny Popp- a well known name by now. Danny brought out his ’72 Vette and we honestly thought he had the win. Popp ran short on the bracket race loosing points which affected his overall lead. Danny still put on a great show and went home with the autocross and 3S win for the weekend.

Here’s a video of Popp putting on a great show for LS Fest Spectators:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Y2j9BoYtAes" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2j9BoYtAes)

Josh Leisinger- Many may not know his name, but you will probably recognize the car. I met Lisinger back in 2011 before he was in the driver’s seat at these pro-touring events. He now can be found behind the wheel of a ’64 Vette and the kid’s good. This year is Leisinger’s year to shine and he’s been climbing quickly. As the overall winner of the 2014 Holley LS Fest, he also took home first place in the bracket race.


This won’t be the last time we will see Leisinger. He is definitely someone to keep an eye on through the rest of the race season.


Vendors also had an opportunity to take advantage of this great event. Not only has the vendor count grown, but many vendors are also bringing car to compete and represent their company:

JetHot was represented by Tim and Deb McGilton. The husband and wife team both made the top 15 overall. Tim and Deb are no strangers to these events. They have been getting quite a bit of seat time over the past year and it shows.


Deb also went home with the Show-n-Shine Sponsors pick:


RideTech- One of the original manufactures that was present at the 2010 LS Fest. Bret and his crew have been dedicated to ensuring that events like these continue on. If it wasn't for company’s like RideTech and their support, we wouldn't have opportunities to race at events like LS Fest. Not only does Bret come out with truck and trailer, he usually brings a handful of cars to show as well as a vehicle to beat on. With all the time invested in events like these, it definitely shows that he is committed. Bret placed in the top ten overall in the RideTech 48 hour Camaro.


We’d like to thank Holley for providing complete coverage of the event. Most of the coverage can be seen on their Facebook page, but we’ve also included their photos below for those who do not have Facebook.


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What will Holley LS Fest bring next year? Holley is adding a new element next year while teaming up with the Corvette Museum Motorsports Park. This year's participants got a once in a lifetime chance to check out next year’s course first hand during the LS Fest Cruise. Having the opportunity to drive around the track before it opens was definitely worth LS Fest alone! Here’s a sneak peak at what the track looks like:

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I have a feeling spots will sell quickly for next year’s event so make sure to check back beginning of next year for news on the 2015 Holley LS Fest and information about registration.

For complete results of the 2014 Holley LS Fest visit: https://www.holley.com/events/lsfest/results/

Several other manufactures captured the event through social media. If you are looking for more photos of the event or possibly thinking of participating in next year's event, check out the links below to see complete recaps from each manufacture:

RideTech LS Fest Coverage: Click Here (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.713454352067443.1073741922.103267763086108&type=3)
Bowler LS Fest Coverage: Click Here (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152641504841830.1073741855.225507821829&type=3)
DSE LS Fest Coverage: Click Here (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.986283301397219.1073741861.220813107944246&type=3)

09-19-2014, 06:43 AM
Sorry everyone- The photos in the write-up did not get attached. Here is the full recap complete with photos.

09-19-2014, 07:58 AM
The drifting video was awesome!