Start Your Lawn Tractors!
By Grit Magazine | Jul 1, 2007
If you’ve ever had the impulse to open your lawn mower’s throttle to see what that baby can do on the straightaway, have we got an event for you. What began as a one-time event to promote a product has grown into a national motor sport. Maybe it has your name all over it.
In 1992, Gold Eagle Co., which manufactures STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer, organized the first STA-BIL Nationals, a race for lawn mowers. The fun has taken off from there, to include 20 regional and mowdown races across the country. That year also brought the formation of the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, based in Glenview, Illinois, and the inaugural national races were held over the Labor Day weekend near Chicago.
Racers are grouped according to mower equipment, and the lawn mower’s horsepower and modifications are taken into account to determine in which class a racer and his mower will compete.
For instance, the Stock Class is for everyday lawn mowers that could roll out of any garage in the country. The IMOW class is highly regulated so mowers with similar modifications are competing, while the Prepared and Factory Experimental classes are for souped-up machines with additional modifications.
Modifications for the Prepared and Factory Experimental classes may include modified engines with more horsepower and aftermarket engine parts, smaller front wheels and larger back wheels, a kart clutch or a torque converter drive system.
When racing, a mower’s blades are removed, an automatic shut-off switch is installed or enabled, and all of the mower’s factory safety guards are used. A racer also wears protective clothing and a helmet.
The 2007 dates include races in Clements, Maryland, July 13 and 14; in Sparta, Mississippi, July 21-22; in Austin, Minnesota, August 10; in Morris, Minnesota, August 11; and in Delaware, Ohio, September 1-2.
For more information on the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, including how to join and compete in races, visit the Web site at www.LetsMow.com.
And be sure to send us photographs if you go; email them to Letters@Grit.com.
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