LS Fest West 2021: Bigger And Better Than Ever

Las Vegas, Nevada… home to world-famous casinos, Nellis Air Force base, and Holley’s LS Fest West. If you’ve never been to LS Fest (on either side of the country), you might be wondering what’s the draw to Holley’s show. Let’s just say that they know how to throw a party, and something is always happening all weekend long. And even though this show is built around a specific engine platform, the variety of cars is nothing short of amazing. It’s unlike any other show on earth, with drag racing, an off-road exhibition, car show, road racing, burnout contests, drifting, and more.

Everyone was all smiles at this year’s LS Fest West. We don’t know if these two own Corvettes or not, but they should.

Valley of Fire Cruise

Every year we kick off LS Fest West with the LSX Magazine Valley of Fire Cruise. This is a great event to relax and unwind the day before the big show kicks off. For this year’s cruise, we had about 40 vehicles show up before we headed off to Nevada’s Valley of Fire state park. The sun was out as the cars twisted and turned through the valley with some genuinely breathtaking scenery. At the end of the cruise, we stopped and hung out for a while to visit and take a few photos before heading back into Las Vegas to get ready for the big show.

Open The Flood Gates

We wondered about the turnout for this year’s show due to the pandemic, but after the gates opened up on Friday, a massive crowd of cars and people kept rolling in. And from what we could tell, this event was the largest LS Fest in Sin City to date. 

The crowd kept pouring in for the three-day event filled with high horsepower entertainment.

Let’s Go Racing

One of the more popular events at LS Fest is undoubtedly the drag racing; fans pack the stands and watch cars and trucks race up and down the 1/4-mile into the evening hours. And while the vehicles are stellar, the people are fantastic, too. We cruised through the pits and talked to a few of them.

One of the more rowdy LS-swapped cars in the pits was a 1990 Mazda Miata owned by Peter Chavez out of Redlands, California. The 445 cubic-inch ProCharged LS engine was built by Hustler Racing engines out of Riverside, California. A Turbo 400 transmission with a Coan torque convertor transfers all of the power to the rear wheels, while the 4-link suspension keeps the tires hooked up. Chavez uses Torco E85, which allows the little 90-inch wheel-based two-seater to crank out 1,200 horsepower at the wheels with a Holley Dominator ECU. The best pass so far 7.97 in the 1/4 at 178 mph, with only 31-pounds of boost. Chavez said, “You will know if the car is going to go straight in the first 60-feet.”

Peter Chavez’s 1990 ProCharged Mazda Miata was a crowd favorite. The little car makes 1,200 horsepower and can be a handful to drive with its 90-inch wheels base.

Jessika Johnson showed up with her killer-looking sixth-gen Camaro from Los Angeles, California. The Camaro has a 6.2-liter engine with a built bottom end topped off with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger. The car still uses a Tremec TR6060 manual transmission for gear changes and an upgraded 9-inch independent rear axle. The Camaro currently holds the six-speed 1/4-mile record with a 9.56, and Jessika is looking to go faster. 

Jessika Johnson brought her super clean sixth-gen Camaro to LS Fest West and participated in the Valley of Fire cruise with us.

Carl Brown from Reno, Nevada, was also on the property with his awesome ZL1 Camaro. Brown said, “The car was originally built for the Texas Mile, but we wanted to bring it down here and see what we can do.” Brown didn’t make any changes to the Camaro in preparation for the 1/4-mile. The 421 cubic-inch LSX engine with twin 80/84 turbochargers makes 1,750 horsepower on 29-pounds of boost, which is enough to push the ZL1 to 208 mph in the mile. Brown expected the car to run in the 8-second zone easily. However, the team had a blown transmission line they were battling and trying to fix when we stopped by to visit. 

Carl Brown's ZL1 was undoubtedly a show-stopper. The Camaro cranks out an impressive 1,750 horsepower on moderate boost.

Gettin’ Dirty

Another exciting exhibition at LS Fest is the off-road track. Here you can see buggies and trophy trucks race around the course while grabbing huge air off the jumps. While all of these vehicles are LS-powered, that’s where the similarities stop for these two and four-wheel drive machines. We saw several Fords, Chevrolets, GMCs, and even Volkswagen bugs with turbos and superchargers doing laps. 

Blake Wilkey is always tossing his Whipple-powered buggy around on the off-road course.

One of the more popular vehicles doing hot laps was none other than Blake Wilkey and his Whippled LS-powered buggy. And when it comes to big air, the California native didn’t disappoint as he ripped the Shreedy Life Xcomp Tires sponsored buggy around the corners and aired it out over the massive jumps. 

Grand Champion

Josh Leisinger was ripping around the course all weekend in his 1964 Corvette and took home the win in the Grand Champion Vintage class. The second-gen Corvette was able to run an impressive 10.19 1/4-mile time, as well.

The Grand Champion (GC) competition is one of our favorites. LS Fest offers three different classes for this event, and it’s very diverse. The GC classes consist of late-model (1990 or newer), vintage (1989 or older), and truck. All of the classes are required to race several events including, drag racing, autocross, and the 3S Challenge. Holley then determines the winner of each category by a points system. The one with the most points wins. Duke Langley took the win in late-model with his 2002 Corvette; Josh Leisinger took first place in vintage with his highly modified 1964 Corvette; and David Carroll took home the win in the truck class in his 1974 GMC C10. 

Dyno Challenge

The rollers on the chassis dyno were repeatedly spinning throughout event. Thomas Davis took first place in the power-adder class with his 826 horsepower 2015 Corvette. Davis also took home the award for the highest horsepower Corvette; Cowan Gun’r took the second place trophy with 483 horsepower in his 1999 Corvette; third place went to Rafael Reyes with a pull of 478 horsepower in his 2004 Corvette. 

In the Non-Power Adder Class, Jordan Cooke won first place with his 2009 Corvette that made 525 horsepower. Travis Mcintosh pushed his 2010 Corvette to 452 horsepower for second place, just nudging out Michael Hitt’s 1970 Chevelle, which laid down 451 horsepower for third.

Car Show

As if there wasn’t enough to see, LS Fest offered a parking lot full of custom vehicles with just about everything you could imagine. We walked around the grounds on several different occasions to photograph and sometimes drool over some of these killer builds. This year, there was a wide variety of vintage hot rods, cruisers, trucks, and late-model vehicles. While we didn’t see as many wild swaps on display as in 2019, there were many more cars than the previous shows we’ve attended in Las Vegas. 

The Smoke Show

Another crowd favorite is the burnout contest, and this year at LS Fest contestants were allowed to use the entire pad for “burnouts,” making for more of a freestyle event. The first burnout contest was hosted by none other than Cleetus McFarland himself. Each competitor went out and did their best to blow the tires off the rims, and some succeeded while others had car problems. All in all, it was a fantastic display of tire smoke, carnage, and excellent driving skills. 

Drift It

Drifting is a measure of controlled chaos. The drivers of these cars are constantly on edge and push the limits like no other competition we’ve ever seen, and the drivers at LS Fest were no different. 

Vendor Row

While LS Fest offers a ton of cars to enjoy, the midway is always packed with people and vendors. If there’s a new part for an LS or LT in the industry, the odds of you finding it at this show are really good. You can talk with some of the biggest names in the automotive aftermarket there with products on display, including all of the Holley brands.

Photo gallery

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Once again, the Holley staff delivered a stellar event that was enjoyed by all. Our hats are off to the entire team for their hard work and dedication. And if you’ve never been to one of these events, you need to go. We expect LS Fest West 2022 will be bigger than ever, but our next stop will be LS Fest East on September 10-12 — be sure to mark your calendars, because we hope to see you there!

LS Fest West 2021 Results 

Late-Model Grand Champion

Name Vehicle Number Vehicle DragRace Autocross 3 S Challenge Score Rank
Duke Langley 24 2002 Chevrolet Corvette 85 100 98 283 1
Scot Spiewak 38 2007 Chevrolet Corvette 88 97 95 280 2
Craig Staley 40 2016 Chevrolet Corvette 99 71 99 269 3
Jordan Cooke 6 2009 Chevrolet Corvette 89 93 85 267 4
Andy Voelkel 67 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 77 92 97 266 5
John Maddox 25 2008 Chevrolet Corvette 91 86 86 263 6
August Falkner 12 2021 Chevrolet Camaro 73 88 94 255 7
Koda Atwood 2 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 79 81 93 253 8
Christopher Andreasen 1 2002 Chevrolet Camaro 70 87 89 246 9
Danny Weller 138 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 72 85 87 244 10
James Darden 10 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 63 96 83 242 11
Tony Medina 53 2021 Chevrolet Camaro 80 80 80 240 12
Hector Curiel 9 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 68 70 79 217 13
Mike Morrison 27 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 75 75 65 215 14
Goosse Mejia (2) 61 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle 62 64 82 208 15
Manuel Botelho 5 2015 Chevrolet Corvette 87 66 52 205 16
Kenneth West 45 2000 Chevrolet Corvette 69 61 74 204 17
Brent Franich 15 2013 Chevrolet Camaro 84 50 56 190 18
Bret Voelkel 68 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 0 89 96 185 19
Angela Barnhouse 3 2005 Honda S2000 49 63 72 184 20

Grand Champion Vintage

Name Vehicle Number Vehicle DragRace Autocross 3 S Challenge Score Rank
Josh Leisinger 122 1964 Chevrolet Corvette 100 99 100 299 1
Nick Relampagos 96 1970 Chevrolet Camaro 92 94 92 278 2
Roger Burman 120 1964 Chevrolet Corvette 98 84 91 273 3
Robby Unser 100 1970 Chevrolet Camaro 74 90 90 254 4
Harrison Beach 128 1964 Chevrolet Nova Wagon 94 78 71 243 5
Bob Gawlik 80 1991 Chevrolet Corvette 93 58 88 239 6
Richard Lammi 85 1977 Datsun 280z 81 82 69 232 7
Justin Hertel 82 1988 Pontiac Firebird 82 72 78 232 8
Marcus Fry 115 1970 Datsun Sedan 90 69 70 229 9
Garrett Randall 94 1970 Chevrolet Corvette 64 79 61 204 10
Kyle Phillips 93 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air 59 65 73 197 11
Michael Hitt 83 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle 60 68 68 196 12
Charles Huffhines 84 1972 Chevrolet Nova 53 77 60 190 13
Frankie Trutanic 99 1986 Buick Regal 96 3 76 175 14
Tom Kamman 116 1987 Chevrolet Corvette 67 95 0 162 15
Kimbal Mackinnon 119 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle 54 41 44 139 16
Chris Stoner 108 1988 Pontiac Firebird 0 56 64 120 17
Bret Madsen 86 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 0 60 51 111 18
Brad Thompson 109 1987 Chevrolet Caprice 65 10 30 105 19
Scott Timmons 183 1967 Chevy Camaro 0 46 57 103 20

Grand Champion Truck

Name VehicleNumber Vehicle DragRace Autocross 3 S Challenge Score Rank
David Carroll 77 1974 GMC C10 48 83 75 206 1
Josh Wojciechowski 166 1969 Ford F-100 71 55 50 176 2
Chris Allen 58 1963 Ford F-100 95 26 43 164 3
Byron McMahon 160 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 97 1 49 147 4
Hondo Miller 39 1970 Chevrolet Blazer 0 67 67 134 5
Amanda Hitt 156 1961 Ford F-100 45 30 39 114 6
Michael Sephos 170 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 50 20 26 96 7
Williams Mcdonald 158 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 9 37 46 8
DANIEL ZAMORA 167 1977 Chevrolet C10 0 21 23 44 9
Steve McGaughys 159 1974 Chevrolet C10 Pickup 0 14 0 14 10
Sean Chandler 153 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 0 12 0 12 11
Carlos Arjon 151 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 1 0 1 12
Fabian Padilla 162 1997 Chevrolet K1500 0 1 0 1 13
Ulysses Portillo 163 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 0 0 0 14
Martin Ruiz 164 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 0 0 0 15
Jose Sanchez 174 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 0 0 0 16
Pat Sheely 165 1959 Chevrolet Truck 0 0 0 0 17
Micah Smith 173 1968 Chevrolet C10 Pickup 0 0 0 0 18
Israel Alcala 171 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 0 0 0 0 19
Antonio Becerra-luna 132 1985 Chevrolet K5 Blazer 0 0 0 0 20

SHOW-N-SHINE: Sponsored by Hooker Black Heart and LS1 Tech

Class Car # City/State Name Car Year/ Model
Street Rod (Pre 49) 1392 Washington UT Alan Ellis 1937/ Ford Sedan
Classic Custom (49-63) 1312 Las Vegas NV James Brown 1962 / Chevy Impala
Muscle Car (64-74) 3108 Ventura CA Griffin Steinfeld 1966 Chevy Chevelle
Street Machine (75-95) 1504 Detrick Towers 1984 Chevy
Late Model (96-present) 1207 El Cajon CA Stephan Brown 2004 Mini Cooper
Non-Domestic 1365 Pomona Ca Joseph Zamora 1995 Nissan 240SX
Classic Truck (Pre- 74)

1309

Sandy UT Randy Weaver 1965 GMC 1500
Muscle Truck (75-95) 1514 Las Vegas NV Daniel Rodriguez 1979 Chevy C10
Late Model Truck (96-Present) 3420 Los Angeles, CA Ireal Valenzuel 2006 Chevy Colorado
Low Rider

178

Las Vegas, NV Marcus Allen 1964 Chevy Impala
Under Construction 1196 Lakewood, CA Jon Adler 1946 Chevrolet
Best Paint

3108

Ventura CA Griffin Steinfeld 1966 Chevy Chevelle
Best Interior

325

Sparks NV Kelly Wheeler 1964 Chevy II
Best Engine

3108

Sparks NV Kelly Wheeler 1964 Chevy II
Best Engineered

1207

El Cajon CA Stephen Brown 2004 Mini Cooper
Best of Show 1309 Sandy UT Randy Weaver 1965 GMC 1500

DYNO CHALLENGESponsored by HP Tuners & Bangshift.com

HP Number Name Year/Make/Model
Power Adder Class 1st

826.00

3253

Thomas Davis

2015 Chevy Corvette
2nd

483.00

1999

Cowan Gun’r

1999 Chevy Corvette
3rd

478.00

127

Rafael Reyes

2004 Chevy Corvette
Non- Power Adder Class 1st

525.00

6

Jordan Cooke 2009 Chevy Corvette
2nd

452.00

1443

Travis Mcintosh 2010 Chevy Corvette
3rd

451.00

83

Michael Hitt 1970 Chevy Chevelle
Highest Horsepower Corvette

826.00

3253

Thomas Davis

2015 Chevy Corvette

Fastest Corvettes

Number

Time

Name

Horsepower

Year

Fastest Corvette in the Drag Race

8.594

3254 Frank Despasito 1964 Chevy Corvette
Fastest Corvette in the Autocross Course 1 101.617 24 Duke Langley 2002 Chev. Corvette
Fastest Corvette in the 3S Challenge Combined Time

31.724

122 Josh Leisinger 1964 Chevy Corvette
Highest Horsepower Vette in Dyno Challenge 826 HP 3253 Thomas Davis 2015 Chevy Corvette

Article Sources

About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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