Texas weather can be a fickle thing. It’s not entirely uncommon for it to be cold and raining in the morning, blazing hot and dry in the afternoon, and then cool again in the evening. So planning any outdoor activity can involve looking ahead at the predicted weather, a bit of luck, and possibly contacting a psychic. Luckily we enjoyed some great weather for Holley’s LS Fest Texas.
Last year was the inaugural Texas event, and the heat was a concern because it occurred at the end of June. However, the scorching Texas sun didn’t deter many people, and that first event was a great success. This year, Holley wisely moved the event dates up to May to improve the odds that the weather would be cooler and that even more participants and spectators would attend.
Well, we got all of the above this past weekend. Thursday and Friday were cloudy and cool, with chances of rain most of the day Friday; more on that later. However, Saturday’s weather was perfect, which brought out a massive crowd of spectators that packed the infield of Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
Tailgate And Track Laps
New for this year, LSX Mag partnered with Holley and Wynrock Speed Shop to host the Tailgate And Track Laps kickoff event Thursday afternoon ahead of the weekend’s competitions. As participants arrived on the TMS property for early registration sign-ins, they were invited to join us for a laidback gathering where we could all meet new enthusiasts, talk about their cars and trucks, and eat some delicious street tacos. In addition, the Wynrock Speed Shop team had their merch trailer set up and several excellent builds on display. The bonus to attending our kickoff event was that everyone that wanted to – and had completed their waver – was led out onto the TMS track to experience the big NASCAR oval and high-banked turns in their rides.
We enjoyed checking out the great builds and speaking with the vehicle owners about their cars and trucks. We look forward to growing the Thursday kickoff events at each LS Fest in the future to bring more enthusiasts together and have a good time relaxing and discussing the builds we are all passionate about.
Arriving at TMS when the gates opened on Friday, we were met with cool, overcast conditions and a high chance of rain. We were optimistic that the pavement would remain dry and spectators would enjoy all the sights and sounds of LS Fest without the blazing Texas heat. Although the clouds never dumped rain on us, lightning strikes in the area caused delays in the racing action. However, that didn’t stop the party. The vendors’ midway was lined with beautiful display vehicles, the latest and greatest LS/LT parts, and even some LS-powered airboats from AeroWake Boats. The downtime also gave the spectators a prime opportunity to get a closer look at the cars and trucks participating in the various competitions. Texas Speed And Performance (TSP) drew a crowd around its display area as the TSP crew performed an LS swap on an F-body live for onlookers.
Start Your Engines
Eventually, the lightning moved off, and the drivers were given the all-clear to fire their vehicles up and get the action started. Due to the now condensed schedule, there was drag racing, autocross, and drifting all happening at the same time. The team of personnel with Holley did an excellent job of adapting to the situation caused by the weather delays and managed to get a ton of racing into the remaining hours of Friday’s show.
If Friday was considered a great show despite the weather, then Saturday was off the charts. The sun was out, the temperature was fantastic, no chance of rain forecasted, and the competitors were primed and ready. The car show participants were filling up every available space, and the crowd of spectators was huge. This was the LS Fest Texas that we were hoping for.
Pit Road Drags
Unique to the Texas event is the No Prep drag racing on pit road. Unlike the other two LS Fest shows, where there is an actual drag strip with a well-prepped surface, a staging Christmas tree, and a timing system, the Texas event is much more old-school. There is no timing system or staging tree. Instead, there is a marked starting line with a designated finish line 660 feet away. Vehicles are “staged” by an individual guiding them onto the starting line, and an instant green light starts the race. This type of racing is a competition of power management to see who can get their high-horsepower car down a road that offers little traction.
Pasadena Speed Shop of Pasadena, Texas, showed up with one of its all-wheel-drive single-cab trucks sporting twin turbos and four slicks, known as the Gremlin. In the no-prep world, these monster all-wheel-drive trucks are tough to beat, and the Gremlin did not disappoint by taking home first place in the truck class and putting down some blistering quick passes.
All in all, LS Fest Texas 2023 was a win. Although we have yet to hear the final numbers from Holley, it’s safe to say there were more fans and competitors in attendance than last year. It’s great to see the Texas event growing in size, and we look forward to next year’s event, but first, there’s the original LS Fest East in Bowling Green, Kentucky, coming up in September. So make your plans now to attend, and we’ll see you at Beech Bend Raceway to celebrate all things LS one more time in 2023.