LS Fest Hits the West

Holley LS Fest Hits the West

by Justin Banner


This is it, the west coast’s chance to show LS fans what it has to offer. This is the inaugural LS Fest West at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). LVMS is a world class race compound with multiple tracks of all kinds and the perfect venue for what LS Fest has to offer. The LS Fest weekend gave us more than just drag racing and drifting, but also off-road, autocross, time trials and much more.

If you are a fan of the LS, then this show has everything you could want to see. LS Fest has been the gathering place to celebrate all things GM and LS V8, but being based in Bowling Green, KY the west coast never got a proper chance to show what it had to offer. That is until now, and we showed Holley Performance how we do V8 by using every square inch of space at The Strip, The Z-Max Proving Grounds, and the Dirt Oval to make LS Fest West a unique showcase of how we celebrate the greatest V8 of the modern era.


While drag racing has remained the large portion of LS-related swapping, it’s used in far more applications than many probably realize on the East.


Here in the West, we use the LS in drag cars, drifting, autocross, road racing, and on the dirt with our off-road trucks from Pre-Runners to fully-purpose-built racing machines. However, the surprise class for many was the LS Truck drag class, as it had one of the largest fields in nearly all disciplines at LS Fest West. The trucks were also out running the autocross and road course and ranged from classic C10s, the ever popular S10 mini-truck, newer mid-sized Colorados, and more recent Silverados. If you are thinking about doing a Pro Touring build, you might want to look into doing a truck.


Drifting, while viewed as a “youngin’s” sport, is a popular home for the LS engine. This is due to plenty of power and parts. Helps that those same parts are fairly inexpensive as well.


The LS is popular in drifting, so it's no surprise to see it at LS Fest. The LS is inexpensive, repairs and maintenance are cheap, and you can get big power out even the 4.8-liter iron block with slight use of nitrous, turbos, or superchargers. Its broad powerband also makes it a favorite to keep the tires spinning while at full lock. It doesn’t make drifting easier, but it helps make it more fun by being an inexpensive and somewhat quick way to three-hundred-horsepower – the perfect amount for a beginner – and the progression to more power is simple and budget friendly.


Our own, Rathyna Gomer, brought our her ProAm 350Z and was able to take fourth place out of twenty competitors.


It’s a similar case for off-road, too. The LS is easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy on the budget to upgrade to the power you want until you want to be ludicrous. Making a fast truck to run in the dirt or on the rocks is as simple as a swap and a Turbo 400 or even a 4L80E with a transfercase of your choice for four-wheel-drives. Thanks to having such an accessible ECU from the factory, you can even use the electronics for the 4L's and 6L's integrated controller in the OE ECU from simple programmers from companies like Superchips, Diablosport, or even use a Holley Dominator EFI for control and customization beyond your factory ECU.


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