A bittersweet feeling lingered in the air on the final day of the first ever Holley LS Fest West. While we were sad to see it go, we were thrilled to see how many of you showed up and represented the left coast. It went well enough, in fact, that Holley officially announced that LS Fest West will be returning on the exact same dates next year—meaning we get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our favorite fans again in just 363 days.
According to Holley, this year’s event saw almost 500 cars participate, and well over 3,000 spectators—not too shabby for the first event of its kind on the West Coast. Though the event may still be in its infancy, it was obvious that the love for the Generals latest V8 was just as strong, if not stronger, than any other locale in the country.
Today was a decidedly more relaxed day for several of the events. With autocross completing yesterday, that left the Baer 3S challenge to takes its place. At the drag strip, it was time for the finals. Unfortunately, it seems as if some of the competitors decided to take off a little early and left some of the classes a little short on participants—this allowed the drag racing to wrap up a little early. So lets get down all the juicy details, awards, and final results of the 2017 Holley LS Fest West.
Cody Hulse on one of more than 30 passes on the day.
With several of the classes wrapping up early, it left time for everyone to get in more than just a few extra passes. The standout of the day was Cody Hulse from Utah, in his nitrous-fed C6 Corvette. Hulse took the opportunity to get more runs in, basically hot-lapping his 10-second car. We haven’t seen someone run this many back to back 10-second passes in… well, ever. The car was fairly consistent for a 6-speed car, and the quickest it went was a blistering 9.95, which earned it the award of “Fastest Corvette” of the entire event.
In LS Outlaw, the final eliminations saw Clay Forrester in his LS-powered ’93 Ford Mustang quickly advance through the ranks, eliminating Jared McNickle in his 2005 Mustang, but eventually loosing to Brian Manske in his ’98 Trans Am after a second round bye. Manske took home top honors in LS Outlaw after besting James Strang’s ’65 Chevelle and Mike Bozner’s ’96 Mustang. We were happy to see an F-body take the overall win in a class rife with Fords—though it’s what on the inside that counts.
Hatfield putting a show on for the crowd and bringing home the hardware.
LS Truck was a class that was lightly attended and saw only three participants make it through to the final day. And while it may have been light, James Hatfield’s 408-powered, twin turbo ’02 S10 was a crowd favorite all day. With the truck yanking the tires at will, it was easy to get some awesome pictures of him edging out Jerry Ostgard in his equally awesome twin turbo SSR.
Keefer’s Chevy II on its way to a low-9 second pass.
Street King and Rumble classes were the most contested of the event and each saw fierce competition for ultimate bragging rights and a bit of cash. Round 1 saw Kevin Lumsden beating out Bosko T. in his 2016 Corvette to advance to round two where he defeated Kyle Laramore in his 5.3-liter powered ’83 Mustang. The final round came down to Steve Keefer in his LSX454R-powered ’67 Chevy II and Lumsden. Lumsden went on to run a 10.490 on a 10.50 dial, while Keefer red light but ran a 9.019 on a 9.00 dial. Had it not been for the red light, Keefer would have walked away with the win.
In case you aren’t familiar with the 3S Challenge, we’ll break it down for you. The three Ss stand for start, steer, and stop. Basically, participants have to launch from drag racing tree, make a 180 at the end of the course, serpentine through some cones and come to a complete stop in a pre-designated area. If they don’t stop within the designated area, the entire run is disqualified.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top finishers of the 3S challenge were very similar to the front runners of the autocross and road course competition. Rich Willhoff lead the way in his 2010 Chevrolet Corvette and bested Mike Dusold in his wild ’67 Camaro and Mike Rosel in his ’03 Corvette for top honors.
As we previously mentioned, the front runners from the 3S challenge were basically the same across autocross, road course, and the top 5 autocross shoot out. Rich Willhoff again took home top bragging rights in the autocross with a fastest time of 31.344 in his bright yellow C6 Corvette. He was followed closely by Mike Dusold and Jake Rosel who came in second and third respectively.
Over on the road course the final order were the exact same. While it might seem a little boring, it is a testament to just how dialed in these guy’s setups really are. These three are serious competitors and can be found all over the country winning some of the country’s top events, such as the Optima Search for the Ultimate Streetcar.
Show N’ Shine
Many awards were handed out in the Show N’ Shine category so we’ll just stick to some of the highlight. The award for Best Engine went to Saul Sadowsky and his twin turbo 2011 Cadillac CTS-V. Just take a look at the picture and you can see why. This 1,500 horsepower brute was like a flame to a bunch of moths. People were hovering around it the entire show, for obvious reason. We’ve got a full feature coming up on Saul’s brute so stay tuned.
For arguably our favorite award for the show was Jeff Kay with the “Just Because” award. This little Mazda B2000 sports a twin turbo 4.8 making roughly 800+ rwhp. So many people told Jeff that his truck looked like a garner truck that he went with it. He has bolted a lawn mower to the frame of the truck with half-inch bolts so that he can keep it while he drag races and autocrosses. The truck was a crowd favorite and drew a crowd where ever it went—including the LSX Magazine cruise to Hoover Dam, stay tuned for the full feature on that one as well.
Best of Show went to Denny Close and his sage green C10 pickup truck.
What Happens In Vegas Stays On LSX
One of the craziest happenings of the weekend was the weather. We started out at 104 degrees on Thursday and Friday and quickly plummeted to 64 degrees today. It is an odd sensation going from sweating your guts out one day to searching for a hoodie the next. This, however, lead to some of the fastest track times of the week as the DA finally dipped down to a reasonable 2200 feet—basically the elevation of the track, which sits at just north of 2,000.
We had a blast all weekend and met some of our amazing fans along the way. Meeting you guys face to face reaffirms why we do what we do. We’d like to thank everyone that attended for being so kind and welcoming. If you missed it, you need to start planning for next year. Holley assures us that it will be bigger and better than ever and we don’t doubt that for a second.
See you next year! Or, if you’re on the east coast, we’ll see you in Bowling Green!