The third annual Holley LS Fest took place in Bowling Green, Ky. Some might ask, why Bowling Green? Being the home of the Corvette, it makes complete sense to have a festival celebrating LS powered cars. Driving the back road to get to the race park, I was struck with an observation. Kentuckians really know how to appreciate heritage behind car power plants.
Some of the best celebrations were had on the drag strip. Competition was heating up as LS powered cars of all kinds were making passes. More popular this year were the fifth generation Camaros, with many more hitting the strip than last year. Fans really enjoyed all the drag racing throughout the day.
Another more populated event this year was the AutoCross. Trucks, muscle cars, American icons, even BMWs and Miatas, all LS powered, took to the course in order to improve their previously set times.
An event new to many people in Bowling Green was the drifting competition. With the final rounds of Midwest Drift Union and Streetwise Drift looming in the distance, Pro-Am drivers from both events met in Bowling Green, Ky., for the LS Fest drifting competition. Due to time constraints and a total of 14 drivers, the Top 13 drivers were chosen in an interesting fashion (Ben Lewallen had engine issues and had to sit the event out). Little slips of paper numbered 1-13 were put into a hat and drawn out by the drivers.
As the sun started to fall behind the grassy hills of Beech Bend park, competition began with Rapper Dan Savage in the S13.4 and Jason Jiovani in the S13.5. Both drivers lead and followed well, so it came down to a battle of one more time. In the end, Jason was able to edge out Rapper Dan, but just barely.
Several drivers from Tennessee competed in the Lucas Oil sponsored LS Fest Drifting Competition as well. Some more known than others, like Nick Thomas in his black and green S14.
Tyson Schmidt in the white S13 coupe, currently 3rd in the Midwest Drift ProAm series, drifted alongside drivers like Barry Clap from Tennessee Drift, and a couple drivers from the Memphis-based drifting group, Traction Optional, Jerry Farabe and Forrest Luster.
The highlight for drivers and spectators alike was the presence of Lucas Oil sponsored Formula D driver, Joon Maeng. Jarod DeAnda, the voice of Formula D, thinks Joon’s presence at LS Fest gives ProAm drivers hope.
“How it applies on track, I think it shows that it’s attainable, he’s driving an S-chassis, obviously a 240SX with an LS engine, similar to 12 other drivers out here. It gives hope to ProAm drivers saying, ‘I’ve got that, I can run that.’ So Joon Maeng’s presence just shows a polished machine, it shows an ambassador of the sport, a professional, and just an all around nice guy.”
Joon definitely approved of LS Fest.
After some fun runs with Joon, competition was back underway as Sam Henry and Forrest Luster got into their tandem battle to decide who went on to battle for first, and who was knocked into the 4th place battle. In the end, Sam was able to knock Forrest out.
It came down to 3 drivers, Tyson Schmidt, Sam Henry, and Jason Jiovani. After some tough battles, Tyson edged out Forrest for the final spot on the podium, while Sam Henry just couldn’t match Jason Jiovani as he took first place.
All in all, it was an excellent weekend of LS powered hooning, thanks for looking!