For the last four years, hundreds of LS-powered vehicles have converged on Beech Bend Raceway, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for Holley’s LS Fest. One of the most fun race events in the country, LS Fest plays host to a gambit of events from drag racing, autocross, and drifting to a swap meet, engine swap challenge, and countryside cruise. It is also the location of Truckin magazine’s East Coast THROWDOWN. For this year, Nitto Tire stepped up and was the title sponsor for the event. This meant that not only did the lucky competitors get to compete in one of the fastest, most exciting, and most tire smoke-filled truck events of the year, but they each got a set of Nitto tires to achieve the highest level of performance.

Each year, Holley invites us out to be a part of their annual event and we hit the magazine, Facebook, and the forums looking for competitors that are willing to come out and beat on their trucks. This year, we selected 12 lucky guys to bring their trucks out and compete. The only requirement is, obviously, that the vehicle be LS-powered. Just like it is every year, guys were scrambling last minute to get their trucks ready and one of the competitors grenaded his transmission on the dyno. Down to eleven competitors, we were determined to make it the best year yet. Luckily for us, we had a great group of guys who weren’t afraid to beat on their trucks in pursuit of the grand prize, a laser-cut trophy built by our friends at ShowTime Metal Works in Austin, Texas. We also had runner-up prizes including gloves from Iron Clad, detailing kits from Meguiar’s, cases of oil from Royal Purple, gift certificates from DJM, and signs and neon clocks from Holley. Needless to say, if you came out and competed, you went away with a smile on your face.

The Events

Just like our other THROWDOWN events, points were awarded through several competitions and this determined the winner. This year we had a total of six contests that were scored: autocross, 3S challenge, slalom, and for the dragstrip, we evaluated reaction time, trap speed, and elapsed time down Beech Bend’s quarter-mile.

Our first event was the autocross, which was held right after lunch on Friday, September 6. The competitors in our field were split with some guys having experience throwing their trucks around an autocross course and other guys who were more comfortable only going in a straight line. Fortunately, the autocross isn’t difficult to master, but you really have to have a feel for your truck.

That night, after having a chance to make their trucks ready, the THROWDOWN entrants met at the dragstrip for their chance to be the fastest truck down the 1320. This is one of the most popular events and many of the guys in our group participate in the drag racing for LS Fest points as well as THROWDOWN points. This year we split up the drag racing event into three categories: reaction time, trap speed, and elapsed time. This gave the guys with slower trucks or guys not used to pro drag trees a chance to score some extra points.

The next afternoon, we were scheduled to be down at the end of the dragstrip to hold our slalom event. The slalom consists of six cones spaced 100 feet apart and the competitors slither through them as fast as possible. This one is a bit sketchy since we are between the walls of the dragstrip and an errant truck has the chance of smacking a wall. After a practice pass and three timed passes, we were getting ready for the last event of the weekend.

Sunday morning was slated for the 3S challenge. A new event for this year, the 3S challenge stood for speed, stop, & steer. If you combined the drag event, the slalom event, and a stop-box–style event, you would get the 3S challenge. Racers faced off head-to-head racing down to a 180-degree turn then entering a quick, three-cone slalom, and finishing in a stop box. This was a fast-paced, bald-spot creating heck of a time.

After the tire smoke had settled and the points were tallied, we realized we had a close fight. Continue reading to get a breakdown of each truck in the competition and see who came out on top of the 2013 Truckin magazine THROWDOWN Presented by Nitto Tire. For more photos from the event, head over to truckin.com and for more information about next year’s event visit holley.com/lsfest.