The LS family of engines from General Motors has developed a legendary reputation for making ridiculous amounts of horsepower while using many stock parts. At this year’s Holley LS Fest, racers demonstrated just how true those legends are during the Stock Block Shootout. Adam Preston won the event, but not after taking flight and destroying some parts along the way.
The Stock Block class works just how it sounds: you have to use a stock, LS-based block as it came from GM to build your engine. What happens from there is equal parts magic and insanity as racers push — and eventually exceed — the limits of the stock block.
Adam Preston wheeled the Next Motorsports Race Cars 1990 Mustang in the class with help from his brothers, Shawn and Isaac, with a very basic combination. They used a stock 6.0-liter block that was filled with stock 5.3 lifters, pushrods, rocker arms, and crankshaft. A custom Cam Motion camshaft was paired with a set of Frankenstein Engine Dynamics Stage 2 GM 799 cylinder heads to make big power. Adam was able to nail down the number one qualifying spot with an impressive 4.94-second pass at 148 mph.
What makes Adam’s qualifying effort and win even more impressive is the level of determination that was required to make it happen –the road to the final round was far from smooth and straight in every way imaginable. During the second qualifier, a hot tune-up was loaded into the Holley ECU and that launched the Mustang into low orbit.
The damage was severe, with a broken K-member, steering rack, oil pan, block, rear cover, and the force of the impact even pulled transmission bellhousing bolts out of the block. The brothers thrashed to get the car repaired and back on the track, but ended up torching a head that needed to be Tig-welded and hand-filed flat to get put back together.
That level of carnage would have caused most sane individuals to pack up and go home, but the Preston’s weren’t backing down. Their persistence paid off with the event win and the respect of everyone who saw this unfold. Check out the video from BigKleib34 that recaps the Preston’s weekend and the footage from Faith Fitness & Fast Cars that shows Adam earning his pilot’s license.