photos by: Holley LS Fest and the author
We Make Another Visit to Beech Bend Raceway for the 2016 Holley LS Fest
The staff of GM EFI has been making the pilgrimage to the Holley LS Fest, every year, since its inaugural invitation back in 2010. Kicking off as a small, but well-organized event dedicated to the LS contingent, it has morphed into a full-fledged LSX-everything extravaganza the world has never seen.
The year 2016 marked the 7th-annual event and it seemed to be bigger and better than ever before. More spectators, more racers, more vendors and a seemingly endless sea of LS-powered motortopia. It was a who’s-who of the LS world, bringing out big name racers, tuners, car builders, drifters — you name it!
With as many LS-minded gear heads that are out there, and as many that read GM EFI (roughly three million of you), it only made sense that Holley has stepped up their game for 2017; not only carrying on the tradition for yet another year, but adding a second event to its schedule in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yup, just in case you didn’t get the memo, there’s going to be an LS Fest West starting in 2017!
but before we get you foaming at the mouth for what’s to come, let’s first take a moment to revisit the awesome event that happened in 2016!
Lucas Oil Drift Challenge Results:
LS Fest 2016 drew to a close after a packed house cheered our Drift Challenge competitors on to a spectacular finish at Beech Bend Raceway’s 1/4 mile oval track. The Drift Challenge continues to grow year after year at LS Fest, with 23 drivers arriving at Beech Bend in various LS powered European and Japanese platforms to duke it out on track. When the dust settled, long time LS Fest drift challenge competitor Nick Thomas took home the P1 podium spot, followed by Tyler Nelson and Jonathan Nerren, both ZENNA tire sponsored drivers.
Overall Grand Champion:
This year Mike Dusold from Lewisville, TX brought his Dusold Designs 1967 Camaro up to play with the rest of the Grand Champion competitors. He’s been constantly improving his Camaro platform over the last few years, slowly turning up the wick and dialing in the car. He piloted the car through the Grand Champion drag class, NCM and Beech Bend autocrosses, and the 3S Challenge and landed on top of the scoreboard when the event finished out at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. He scored 22 points on the NCM autocross, 20 at the Beech Bend autocross, 25 in the drag race, and 18 in the 3S challenge, tallying up a total of 85 points overall. This edged out Ridetech Suspension’s Bret Voelkel whose drag race score contributed to a 25 point difference between first and second place. Al Unser Jr., that’s right, Al Unser Jr. competed in LS Fest this year, took the third place spot, missing second place by two points with a total of 58 points overall.
Since LS Fest rules do not allow last year’s Grand Champion winner to take top spot two years in a row, Danny Popp wasn’t able to compete in the regular running for Grand Champion. However, that didn’t stop him from competing in the all-around competition in the Past Grand Champion’s class. Danny Popp took home that victory at the wheel of his late best friend Todd Rumpke’s C6 Z06. Todd recently lost his battle with cancer, but it became apparent very early on that Todd was there with everyone in spirit. With a marked off and coned grid location for Rumpke in place, competitors and friends alike all signed the grid location and remembered their good friend and competitor. Sonya Rumpke, Todd’s wife, traveled down to Bowling Green, KY and rode shotgun in her husbands ‘Vette as Popp piloted the car around the Beech Bend autocross circuit to remember and honor Todd, both a great racer and friend to many in our small automotive group of friends. Sunday afternoon Todd was named an honorary Grand Champion of the 2016 Holley LS Fest.
To see the complete results and scoring breakdown, follow the below links to the full competitor results below. Please keep in mind: Our ranking system is based on a 25 point scale, but ranks only the first 20 places. IF you placed lower then 20th position, you were not granted any points for that specific event segment.
- 1st: Mike Dusold | 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
- 2nd: Bret Voelkel | 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
- 3rd: Al Unser Jr. | 2nd Gen. Chevrolet Camaro
Honarary Grand Champion: Todd Rumpke
Unfortunately, long-time friend and fellow autocross and road race participant, Todd Rumpke, lost his battle with cancer shortly before the event. Todd was a mainstay at LS Fest and other events around the country. The event honored his passing, by allowing friend and fellow racer, Danny Popp, to lap his Vette and run it in various competitions throughout the weekend. He will greatly be missed.
QA1 Autocross Results:
- 1st: Danny Popp | C6 Corvette Z06 | Fastest time (both autox courses added for total time): 32.473 + 31.780 = 64.253 seconds
Final Autocross Lap Times (Raw Results-All Participants):
Chevy High Noon Performance Autocross Shootout Winner: Danny Popp
Baer Brakes 3S Challenge Results:
- 1st: Bret Voelkel | C7 Corvette Z06
- 2nd: Chris Smith |
- 3rd: Danny Popp | C6 Corvette
Final 3S Challenge Lap Times:
Bowler Performance Transmissions/GM EFI Countryside Cruise:
Sometimes it’s nice to just hop in the car and go for a cruise. Keith Hoover did just that and ended up winning $500! He headed out into the Kentucky countryside equipped with his LS powered 1956 Chevrolet and his camera determined to find as many of the items on our Countryside Cruise Scavenger Hunt as he could. He ended up snapping more pics and checking off more items than the rest of those who participated in this family friendly, light-hearted competition and took home a $500 Holley/MSD product certificate to help him spruce up his ride over the winter! Congrats Keith!
ERL Performance Dyno Challenge:
The LS Fest Dyno Challenge might be more static than other aspects of our show, but don’t think that it isn’t just as impressive. This year we saw four digit horsepower figures from the winner of the Power Adder class. Anthony Peck topped the charts of the Redline Motorsports Dynojet chassis dyno. His 2010 Chevrolet Camaro turned the rollers to the tune of 1,290.81 horsepower. Anything just shy of a thousand horsepower is nothing to be ashamed of. Hussain Alhashim put down 986.32 horsepower in his 2012 ZR1 Corvette, followed closely behind by our third place finisher, Jeremy Rogers. His 1933 Chevrolet 1500 is no slouch, making 927.88 horsepower.
Sure, four digit horsepower is always impressive, but it begs the question: “Is it always possible to put all that power to the ground effectively?” The all-motor class of our dyno challenge is in place at LS Fest to see just how much horsepower some of our participants are making without the extra oomph of a turbocharger, supercharger or nitrous. Keith Sullivan was able to produce 535.68 horsepower on his 1999 Chevrolet Camaro taking first place. What’s amazing here is that 1st and 3rd place were only separated by a range of .92 horsepower! Max Kami nabbed secured a second place finish with his 2007 Corvette, generating 535.12 horsepower, whereas Jacob Boutz took home a third place podium finish with his 2008 Corvette, laying down a respectable 534.76 horsepower.
Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge:
The Car Craft Engine Swap Challenge is always a crowd favorite at Holley LS Fest. Two teams working to install LS engines into identical vehicles with Holley, MSD and Hooker BlackHeart exhaust components against the clock is always guaranteed to impress. With the bleachers lined and people filling every gap around the engine swap challenge tent, the stopwatch began counting and both teams started turning wrenches.
CJ Durbin and Tyler Sandau from Moline, IL competed against a father and son team Eric Bujnevicie and Austin Bujnevicie from Tennessee to see who could successfully remove their old engine and complete a running LS swap in their third gen Camaros in the shortest elapsed time. As the crowd of spectators watched, eventually the teams stopped turning wrenches and progressed into the wiring phase. Eventually speed, early event prep, and a bit of lady luck favored the crew from Moline, IL. They completed their swap and took the victory. The time? One hour and twenty six minutes. The prize? CJ and Tyler took home the LS engine along with all of the Holley/MSD components!
Grassroots Motorsports Road Course Challenge:
The NCM Motorsports park is a relatively new addition to Bowling Green, Kentucky. With so many performance cars descending upon our motorsports town, we thought it fitting to add yet another new event to LS Fest. Enter the Grassroots Motorsports Road Course Challenge. As the newest event segment of LS Fest, this event crowns those with the lowest elapsed lap time the winner in three classes: Stock, Street Prepared and Full Race. Racers ran the two mile West Course portion of the NCM Motorsports Park Friday and Saturday.
Grassroots Motorsports | Forgeline Wheels Road Course Challenge class winners listed below:
- – Stock: Robert Green, Car #314, 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
- – Street Prepared: Russell Grau, Car #313, 1998 Pontiac Firebird
- – Full Race: Savanna Little, Car # 354, 2008 Nissan 350Z
Scoggin Dickey Parts Center Drag Racing:
Holley LS Fest spectators always benefit from an abundance of drag racing classes each year. This year we had a full roster of classes and no chance of lackluster entertainment due to the huge amount of drag race participants spread across the available classes. See below to get the low down on who took home class wins for 2016.
Lingenfelter/S.A.M. COPO Battle At The Green Winner: Phil Giles
Hooker BlackHeart Late Model Heads Up Winner: Greg Allen
Nitro Gear Street King Winner: Kurt Anderson
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Chevrolet Performance Stock Winner: Kevin Lumsden
Raymond’s Performance Show-N-Shine:
This year we had a total of 278 car show entries. The car show portion of the event simply continues to grow year after year. Everything from works in progress to custom component cars like the Superlite SLC showed up this year. Read on to see the winners of each of the Show-N-Shine classes for 2016:
Best of Show:
Denny Terzich, 1955 Chevy
Street Rod (pre-1949):
Joe Aflague, 1933 Plymouth
Classic Custom (’49-’63):1st:
Ray McIntosh, 1955 Chevy | 2nd: Billy Joe & Susan Porter, 1959 Parkwood Wagon | 3rd: Troy Russell, 1962 Chevy
Muscle Car (’64-’74):1st:
Gary Higgenbothem, 1969 Camaro | 2nd: Gary Hutcheson, 1970 Camaro | 3rd: Joe Grom, 1970 Chevy Nova
Street Machines (’75-’95):
1st: Doug Schultz, 1983 Hurst Olds | 2nd: Nick McMillan, 1991 Camaro | 3rd: Kevin Osborne, 1979 Camaro Z/28
Late Model (’96-present):
1st: Donnie Torley, 2010 Camaro | 2nd: Brent Schobring, 2001 Chevrolet Camaro | 3rd: Ryan Brown, 2008 Pontiac G8
Alan Akus, 1986 Porsche
Classic Truck (pre-’74):
1st Noah Alexander, 1966 Chevy Truck | 2nd: Justin Howell, 1972 Ford F100 | 3rd: Shawn Maiden, 1970 Chevy C10
Muscle Truck (’75-’95):
1st: Lebron Morrow, 1989 Chevy Silverado | 2nd: Jason Corn, 1980 C10 | 3rd: Tom Pritchard, 1982 Chevy Truck
Late Model Truck (’96-present):
1st: Dustin Scott, 2007 Chevy Truck | 2nd: Roger Allen, 2005 Silverado | 3rd: Jimmie Colburn, 2006 Chevy Trailblazer
Just Because: 1st:
Will Campbell, 2013 Superlite SLC | 2nd: Bruce Vlietslm, 1998 Jeep | 3rd: Don Miller, 2011 Jeep
Under Construction: 1st:
Heath Hover, 1956 Chevy | 2nd: Juston Moore, 1999 GMC Sierra 1500 | 3rd: Jeff York, 1978 Malibu Wagon
Chevy High Performance Show-N-Shine Shootout winner:
Gary Hutcherson, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.