The lawn mower races will start soon and a quick look around shows the drivers seem more than ready to get racing. Some of the modified mowers are still being unloaded and they are attracting a fair amount of attention.
One festival goer inquired, “Who in the world ever thought about racing lawn mowers?”
The inside skinny according to one of the drivers for Zero Tolerance Racing is that the idea to race lawn mowers got its start in Britain — in a pub. That explanation drew a few chuckles.
The mowers are truly lawn mowers, just souped up to reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour or more. That’s right, 60 miles per hour. The racers take safety precautions — helmets, chest protector vests, fire-retardant racing suits, etc. Today’s races are sanctioned by the American Racing Mower Association, and drivers will be competing for trophies and points toward the national championship.
You will see a variety of lawn mowers competing, some newer models, some older models. They are shorter than a regular mower, lowered to just 4 inches off the ground in order to compete. Many of the tractors have special lettering and flame designs meant to inspire and maybe intimidate other racers. One mower sports the name, “The Reaper.”
The fun begins in the Sam Rand Grandstand at 1 p.m. and continues through 9 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $5. Come check out the races!