Mower Racing: From the Pits
Lawnmower racing, which has been around for over 30 years, is still an ongoing craze across the U.S. The sport began in England where a group of men discussed some financially viable option to continue their love of motor sports and racing. They sat, drinking the afternoon away, when one chap spoke up and grumbled out that he'd like to race his lawnmower. While this may have been a joke, it was better than their previous thoughts about racing wheelbarrows and the like.
While England is a land of sprawling meadows and green pastures abundant, it may not be the place where everything is kept mowed. On that day, however, the British Lawn Mower Racing Association (BLMRA) was officially cheered into existence.
After it's initial years, the sport continued to grow in popularity and rules were announced and brought into the club's official doctrine. While taking a gander at this strange, yet popular and ever-growing sport in England, the United States quickly followed suite when a man who ran a Chicago-based company, Gold Eagle (makers or a fuel stabilizer), wanted to bring more recognition by advertising his product as a supporter of lawn mower racing enthusiasts. Gold Eagle visited England, discussed its plans with the BLMRA. After enjoying the sport immensely themselves, they returned on a mission to share the new motor sport with Americans and Canadians.
The company swiftly formed the USLMRA and set its rules up according to those set in England. On Labor Day, now every year, the official races of the organization continue.
With a total of four categories contestants can enter, the sport has seen an increase in membership each year. The first category is "Slow Mow," mowers are raced as-is from the factory. The second is "Stock" racing where only the governor switch can be removed. Next is the "Prepared" category, where "minor" modifications to the drive train can be made. This is a faster category. And finally, there is the "Factory Experimental" races where mowers with major overhauls on engines and drive trains make the sport exceptionally fast.
As lawn mower racing continues to spread, different races and festivities are put on in both England and the United States each year. Perhaps if you're in to motor sports and can't quite figure how to get the money for a racecar, you might want to sip a few extra drinks and consider lawn mower racing as a part of your future endeavors.