LS engines and those who love them are in the spotlight for the Holley LS Fest this weekend, Sept. 9-11, 2016 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The powerful powerplants are in everything from strip cars to street cars and autocross cars to show cars. Among the categories to be contested here are the COPO Battle at the Green presented by Lingenfelter and School of Automotive Machinists and Technology, Late Model Heads-Up presented by Hooker Blackheart, Nitro Gear Street King, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Chevrolet Performance Stock, Callies Drag Radial, Wiseco Real Street, Three Pedals Rumble and 1320 Wheels True Street.
Ronnie Hackelton comes to this race fourth in Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Chevrolet Performance Stock points, and is looking to move on up. The Arkansas-based driver, whom announcer Brian Lohnes referred to as “one of the best in the business,” earned a win at the race in Florida in March and a runner-up at the race in Illinois in July, and posted an 11.10 at 117 mph in his ’13 Camaro in an early test hit today.
There are high-revving engines to the left and high-revving engines to the right, as cars are crushing the quarter-mile at the same time cars are crushing the Lateral-G and QA1 autocross course, where acceleration, braking and handling are king.
LS-powered Mustangs are in the mix at this weekend’s Holley LS Fest, including this green and black checkered machine sporting twin turbos and driven by Matt Kaiser out of the TMS Performance and Dyno Tuning stables. It ripped off an 8.85 at 171 mph in a test hit today, and Kaiser’s crew hinted that there may be even more in it.
Nitro Gear Street King driver Ray Bulach grenaded the rear-end under his ’99 Camaro as he attempted to make a test hit today, but he and his crew, who pushed him off track and back to the pits, are currently under the car to swap it. “We’re gathering all the parts we need and we might not make it in time to make another run today, but we hope to be ready for tomorrow,” said Bulach, who relies on a Texas Speed and Performance-built 380 cubic-inch engine and 88mm CRT turbo to blast from A to B in the bottoms 8s.
By all accounts, Camren Massengale has had a successful race season, powerfully piloting his Corvette in Edelbrock Xtreme Street and Holley EFI Real Street, and he’s currently in second place in points in the latter class, with his eyes firmly fixed on inching up to oust Jessie Coulter, who’s currently in the lead. He was, however, pushed off the starting line before he could make a test pass today, and he and his crew, including dad and fellow racer Rodney Massengale, are tending to the car’s 440 cubic-inch LSX engine and heads, as they may have a broken rocker arm on their hands.
Mark Carlyle is looking to hold onto his points lead in JE Pistons Drag Radial, but he’s also looking for a clean hit, as he hasn’t had one yet today. To know Carlyle, though, is to know that he can never be counted out, as he’s a determined driver with a determined crew. In fact, they’re currently going over his Corvette and its Carlyle Racing-built 427 cubic-inch engine and Garret GTX 88mm turbos with a focus on unleashing a load of power later.
Missouri’s Tim Habel is behind the wheel of his ’66 Chevy II for a bit of Three Pedals Rumble action this weekend, and propelling him from the starting line to the finish line is a new 6.0 LS which made 602 hp on the engine dyno. Habel, who had been running high tens with a small-block Chevy, explained that he swapped to the new powerplant to “modernize” things under his hood, and he hopes he’ll see 10.50s.
While Glenn Pushis comes to this race with the lead in Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Chevrolet Performance Stock points and is intent on backing up his championship in his ’13 Camaro, Kevin Lumsden is just as intent on preventing that from happening. Hanging loose and not high strung in the face of the challenge, Pushis has also entered the event’s COPO Battle at the Green presented by Lingenfelter and SAM School of Automotive Machinists in his ’14 COPO Camaro, has so far posted an 8.87 and 8.78 in qualifying and is currently qualified second in the index-based category.
Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series drivers who finish in the top ten in points in their respective categories can win this stunning steel ’69 Camaro RS/SS roller through a special promotion offered by Real Deal Steal, NMCA and a host of supportive sponsors. The winner will be chosen randomly, and will be revealed during PRI, Dec. 8-10 at the Indiana Convention Center.
The Drift Challenge is in full swing, and there’s a lot of slipping, sliding and sideways action going on. The competition is open to all makes and models — as long as they’re LS-powered.