Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 23

Curios | Lawn Mower Racing

GRASSCAR:
Lawn Mower Racing
in the Mountains
IT'S NOT NASCAR, IT'S GRASSCAR. Lawn mower

racing has come to every state of the Blue Ridge and
is sweeping the nation with a deafening roar, as herds
of tricked-out tractors zoom around the tracks at 40
miles per hour or more.
These tuned-up riding mowers could shear a
football field in 15 minutes if the mower blades
hadn't been removed - an absolute requirement for
mower racing.
Western North Carolina has been a hotbed of
grasscar racing since 1984, when the North
Wilkesboro Rotary began hosting races at the Wilkes
County Fairground. These events now attract more
than 100 contestants and thousands of fans.
Some say it's the poor man's NASCAR - affordable motor racing that can be done with the riding
mower in your tool shed. Mower racers compete in
two classes: stock, for regular lawn mowers, and
modified, in which drivers can tinker with the mowers' gear ratios, drive trains and pulleys, possibly
spending $1,500.
For Pam Sizemore, president of Rebels and
Rednecks United Mower Racers association (lawnmower-racing.com) of western North Carolina and
Virginia, it's just plain fun. A lawn mower racer for

READY TO RACE YOUR RIDER-MOWER?
WELL, FIRST DECIDE IF YOU'RE
GOING STOCK OR
MODIFIED.

more than six years, she says the sport was addictively exciting for her from the moment she tried it.
"You either love it or hate it the first time you try
it; there's usually no in between," she says.
It's not unusual to see women in these competitions. Although she was upset with her husband for
spending $500 on his first racing mower years ago,
Sizemore now has at least two racing mowers herself
in any given season. She suspects the cost and safety
of mower racing has attracted the female
contingent.
"That doesn't mean there aren't accidents," she
says.
Mowers may go out of control and sometimes
off course during a race, but usually no one is hurt
except the mower. Drivers come to the track armed
with tool boxes and extra parts.
Mower racing season coincides with lawn-mowing season, April through October. Races are held
at fairs, festivals, go-kart tracks, and other race
t r a c k s a ro u n d t h e re g i o n , f ro m Vi r g i n i a's
Rockingham County Fairgrounds to the Bristol
Motor Speedway. The United States Lawn Mower
Racing Association offers information about local
chapters at letsmow.com. 

by Su Clauson-Wicker

The mower race in North
Wilkesboro, N.C. now
attracts more than 100
contestants who are not
home cutting the grass.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | 23


http://www.lawnmower-racing.com http://www.letsmow.com

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Cover
Table of Contents
Letters/Worth a Click
From the Editor
Creature Feature
From the Farm
Great Home Buys
Digital Help Guide
Mountain Report
The Hike
Festivals & Events
Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Letters/Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Great Home Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover4
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