Holley LS Fest East 2018
If you love anything and everything LS related, this is most definitely the place for you! Holley LS Fest East at Beech Bend Raceway Park and NCM in Bowling Green, Kentucky is growing more and more as each year passes. Despite the threat of wet weather throughout the weekend, the turn out was bigger than ever with record attendance on Friday and Saturday, which made for a great time filled with LS-powered action! The format for the Grand Champion competition was a little different this year. Holley had decided to break it up into four winners in the Late Model class, Vintage class, Truck class, and finally the Overall Grand Champion. This decision allowed pro-touring style classic muscle cars to compete against each other on a more fair ground rather than going up against some late model muscle. With that being said, it was no secret that 2017 Grand Champion, Mike DuSold, was the man to beat in his 1967 Camaro for Vintage Class. This year for LS Fest, we had Bryan Johnson on pilot duty for the 1987 Camaro DSE-Z while Kyle Tucker attended Shades of the Past in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
With the Grand Champion format becoming more and more popular, there were two run groups as there were last year. Friday, we began our morning session at Beech Bend where Chevy High Performance Magazine also hosted the High Noon Shootout which is reserved for the fastest Vintage Class vehicles. Among the group of blistering fast, ground pounding, muscle cars were Bryan in the DSE-Z and Brian Finch in his Detroit Speed "Equipped" 1971 Camaro. They drove hard and by the end of the shootout, it was Mike DuSold taking the win. At the end of lunch break, it was off to NCM to continue running for that fast time. By the end of the weekend, the big news that Brian Finch placed within the Top 5 overall autocross times was something that came as a shock to many. Brian managed to pull out a fast time that was enough to place with built C5 and C6 Corvettes. This just goes to show that sometimes old school is still the way to go! Later in the evening, in order to be eligible for a Grand Champion, you must also run your car down the iconic Beech Bend ¼ Mile drag strip. After numerous passes on Friday night in the DSE-Z, Bryan drove the de-stroked MAST Motorsports 388ci LS7 to a 11.6 second ET at 127mph! Being that the car is setup for road racing and autocross, that was quite an impressive time that we were more than pleased with. Maybe it's time that we get our hands on a front runner and radial setup to truly see what the DSE-Z is capable of!?
The event wrapped up the weekend on Sunday with the 3S Challenge which tasks the drivers with launching abilities, tight cornering, and the requirement to end before the cones in a stop box. The catch to this event is that you are staged up against another competitor at the same time. Unfortunately, the weather could not hold out all weekend and the rain was upon us. This did not halt the competition however. For the first half of the day, Grand Champion competitors were driving hard in the rain to manage the lowest possible time. This proved to be not only very difficult, but very entertaining to watch as cars hammered through puddles and slid around the corners. We are pleased to announce that Brian Finch took second and Bryan Johnson took third in the Grand Champion Vintage Class! Excellent driving for sure! If you have never had the opportunity to attend a Holley LS Fest event, we highly recommend it. From the wild builds you can find in the Show 'N Shine area, drag racing all day on the strip, and plenty of racing/drifting action there is something for everyone to be seen. Up next for the Detroit Speed crew is the local Go-Pro Motorplex Cruise-In on September 18th in Mooresville, NC which will be followed up by USCA Road America on October 6th-7th in gorgeous Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. We hope to see you there!