LS FEST WEST DOS

Bang­ing gears and shred­ding rub­ber, Ve­gas style

Chevy High Performance - - Contents - TEXT: Nick Li­cata | PHO­TOS: Nick Li­cata,Tay­lor Kemp­kes,Jim Wiltse

Bang­ing gears and shred­ding rub­ber, Ve­gas style

With the suc­cess of the in­au­gu­ral Holley LS Fest West in 2017, the per­for­mance gu­rus at Holley Per­for­mance loaded up their rigs and once again headed out to Las Ve­gas, bring­ing along their unique brand of au­to­mo­tive may­hem.

The Strip at Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way is home to the event that fea­tures the bad­dest LS-pow­ered rides in the coun­try. Al­though par­tic­i­pants come from all over, a heavy con­cen­tra­tion of LS en­thu­si­asts come from the western states to an­ni­hi­late some rub­ber, and for those com­pet­ing in the Off-Road Chal­lenge, well, they’re the ones stir­ring up dust clouds and spit­ting rocks.

Word trav­els fast, and those who at­tended the first Holley LS ex­trav­a­ganza in the west, spread the word that this LS thing in Las Ve­gas is pretty damn cool, as the car count in­creased and the LS-crazed crowd more than dou­bled in size from the pre­vi­ous year.

The LS Fest West has all the fea­tures of the orig­i­nal LS Fest held in Bowl­ing Green, Ken­tucky, in­clud­ing drag rac­ing, road course, dyno chal­lenge, drift chal­lenge, au­tocross, 3S chal­lenge, show-n-shine, and the al­ways pop­u­lar burnout con­test, which is ap­pro­pri­ately named the Cinco De Mayo Tire De Fry’O (it ac­tu­ally hap­pens on May 4 this year, but you get the idea), with ad­di­tional at­trac­tions in­clud­ing a poker run, off-road chal­lenge, and the Desert Launch, which fea­tures some high­fly­ing trucks and bug­gies air­ing it out for the fans on the dirt course. Other at­trac­tions in­cluded a cor­ner of the fa­cil­ity be­ing blocked off for the Hooni­gan crew where in­vi­tees had to impress the ca­pac­ity crowd and those view­ing the live feed where pretty much any­thing went, which in­cludes the Hooni­gan’s own brand of a burnout exhibition where tires had no chance of survival as the crowd de­manded noth­ing short of tire fry­ing un­til the bit­ter end. Watch­ing a full­size truck take a jump over dou­ble-stacked 3-foot ramps in a tightly con­fined space is too hard to ex­plain. This needs to be seen in person. If that wasn’t enough for the shenani­gan file, for those in the mood to de­mol­ish a set of tires by do­ing donuts or just sit­ting in one spot,

Mr. Chow’s Sideshow was there to ac­com­mo­date your needs.

Those fa­mil­iar with the event know that the Chevy High Per­for­mance

High-Noon Shootout takes place on Fri­day at, you guessed it, noon. This is where the quick­est eight au­tocrossers from the Fri­day morn­ing

ses­sion earn their way to com­pete in this special event within the event.

Up for grabs is a $500 gift cer­tifi­cate good for any Holley prod­uct and a cool plaque that en­ti­tles the win­ner to brag­ging rights for a year, or how­ever long he or she chooses to boast.

The High-Noon Shootout works like this: Each of the quick­est eight com­peti­tors get three au­tocross laps

(all eight con­tes­tants run through the au­tocross three con­sec­u­tive times one com­peti­tor af­ter the other) and the person with the low­est com­bined time of all three laps is the win­ner. Sounds simple enough, but when the pres­sure is on, mis­takes can be made and cones are at risk of be­ing slaugh­tered. Some will take the con­ser­va­tive ap­proach, while oth­ers go all out for the vic­tory, risk­ing a 2-sec­ond penalty for hit­ting a cone. Good times!

This year’s quick­est eight from the Fri­day morn­ing au­tocross ses­sion were Jor­dan Pri­est­ley, Eric Sheely,

Rich Will­hoff, Car­rie Will­hoff, Robby Unser, Jake Rozelle, Wes Drelle­shak, and Glen Barn­house. It was a Corvet­te­heavy group with two Ca­maros and one LS-pow­ered Porsche.

As is usu­ally the case, the Shootout fea­tures very tight com­pe­ti­tion and this year was no ex­cep­tion. Once the tire smoke faded and the brakes cooled, it was Rich Will­hoff in his C6 Corvette com­ing out on top with a com­bined three-lap time of 99.988 sec­onds. Jor­dan Pri­est­ley was a close Sec­ond with a 100.995 in his C7 Corvette, and Robby Unser, be­hind the wheel of his sec­ond-gen Camaro, came in Third with a 101.863. Just off the podium, by one thou­sandth of a sec­ond, in Fourth was Car­rie Will­hoff with a 101.864 (That was ridicu­lously close).

The rest of the pack looked like this:

Jake Rozelle got Fifth with a 104.730; Wes Drelle­shak took Sixth with a 104.736; Eric Sheely fin­ished up with a 107.372, and, Glen Barn­house DNF’d with tech­ni­cal is­sues af­ter his first lap.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all those who made the Chevy High Per­for­mance Top Eight in the Chevy High Per­for­mance High-Noon Shootout at the Holley LS Fest West 2.

With the Holley LS Fest West show­ing an in­sane amount of growth in just its sec­ond year, we are anx­iously look­ing for­ward to Holley’s third trip to Ve­gas for the wildest mus­cle car event in the west.

As a friendly tip if you plan on mak­ing the event next year: bring plenty of wa­ter, your “A” game, and a set of tires be­cause Mr. Chow has just the place for you to fin­ish off that slightly worn set of rub­ber. CHP

Ken Th­waits locks up the front tires be­hind the wheel of the Speed­way Mo­tors ’64 Nova. His best au­tocross time of 34.205 was good enough for 16th place. He fin­ished 13th over­all for the Grand Cham­pion por­tion of the event.

The Hooni­gan burnout con­test, or Cinco De Mayo Tire De Fry’O, was not lim­ited to street-style cars as you can see by the way this of­froad truck abuses a pair of ex­pen­sive shoes. A tire com­pany spon­sors him, so it’s all good.

Holley’s Bill Tichenor, one of the wild minds be­hind the LS Fest con­cept, gives the “go” sig­nal for the next com­peti­tor in the burnout con­test.

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