If you attended the big racing event at the Delaware County Fairgrounds this weekend, September 1-2, the roar of the engines may have sounded sort of familiar. Kinda like the roar coming from your neighbor’s backyard.
The races in question included the STA-BIL Keeps Gas Fresh Finals and the STA-BIL Challenge of Champions. These are national championships, mind you—the national championships of lawnmower racing.
Proving that even fringe sports can appreciate a good pun, the U.S. Lawnmower Racing Association (or USLMRA for short) calls it the “grassroots motor sport.” Or, as racer Bill Vinka Jr. of Westerville said, "Most lawnmower racers will tell you, it's like the poor man's NASCAR.”
The drivers compete in six classes, ranging from mowers that can go 10 mph to ones that can reach 60 mph. They are required to wear helmets, neck support collars and gloves, and they are tethered to a "kill" switch, which automatically shuts down the mower if they’re thrown off.
And there’s no danger of getting actual yard work done, either. Mower blades are removed for safety.
Check out Mary Beth Lane's Dispatch story here.