Heard Of Lawn Mower Racing?

… It Is Serious Business!

Would you take someone seriously if they told you they were a race driver? How about if they told you that they raced lawn mowers for a living? Yup, you wouldn’t spend a second considering the possibility of these claims before bursting out laughing and cracking a few one-liners. Truth is, if you haven’t seen it then you can’t believe it. But it is for real, lawn mower racing does exist and its popularity is on a phenomenal rise.

Now don’t think for once that they use rickety old tractors that your grandpa probably chugged along on. These mowers are actually redesigned for pace removing everything that makes them a mower, including comfort just so that they can reach 60mph.

lawn mower racing
History Of Lawn Mower Racing

As with everything about sports, lawn mower racing too was born out of innovation and necessity. A few enterprising youths probably found motorsports of every other kind too costly to indulge in and had few mowers lying around that they modified and began challenging each other.

One of the first organizations that embraced this form of racing was the Twelve Mile Lions Club and soon after it was the British Lawn Mower Racing Association. Officially, the first American race was organized on 4th July 1963 at the Twelve Mile, Indiana circuit, which has now become an annual event.

The Modern Race

The Twelve Mile Indiana race divides all racers into two classes. One is for 4-cycle Briggs & Stratton mowers and another for modified lawn mowers. In the 70s, the race became more commercialized with a Grand Prix styling and since then called Plank Hill Park its home. In 2010, another race came into the mix called the superstock race. Now the Twelve Mile provides racers a 60 lap course out on a quarter mile track with 15 miles distance and maximum limit of 33 entrants for each race. To qualify each time has to have a lap judge, two pit crew, one driver, a qualifying vehicle and meet speeds of 30mph.

Before the sport actually began in the United States, it was practiced in the UK. A petrol stabilizer, Sta-bil saw this race and brought it back to the US.

Interestingly, amateur go-karting too relies on lawn mower engines. Naturally, the two are akin to comparison but the truth is that go-karting does not rely on a mower chassis but for mower racing both the engine and chassis must be from an actual mower.

The Basics Of Lawn Mower Racing

The only firm regulation to enter lawn mower racing is to use a lawn mower. It should have the original engine and chassis. Everything else is subject to modification as the crew and driver see fit. Today, these racing mowers don’t look anything like the timid ride-on in your backyard but once they were nothing more than an average workhorse.

One major difference though is the cutting deck is removed from racing lawn mowers. Did I mention that these mowers can hit speeds at an excess of 5 to 6 times the normal riding mower speed.

You Want To Start Racing Too?

Interested in getting into the action? Well if you think your mower and you have what it takes then try your luck by registering with local agencies. US Lawn Mower Racing Association has plenty of local chapters that you can enroll into and if there aren’t any in your area then start one and get folks to enroll.

I personally find riding lawn mowers relaxing to take on a spin on my yard but I can imagine the thrill it provides at speeds in excess of 30mph. At least, for once I won’t have to worry about the lawn!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns - let us know!

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