Tampa, Fla. — The STA-BIL Sunshine State Winter Nationals will feature sod-slinging action on blade-less riding lawn mowers in ten classes at speeds up to 60mph. Racers compete for points, trophies and bragging rights—there are no cash prizes. A sense of humor is not required in lawn mower racing, but strongly encouraged.
Racers will gather from the Southeast, as well as from farther north—racers who need an excuse to pull out their mowers before spring.
“I’ve got the need for mow speed!” said Jim Coones, Equestrian Director at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center of the Florida State Fair Authority. “I’m a horse guy, but when it comes to racing lawn mowers, this isn’t horsing around – it’s serious, but fun too. I am MOWtivated!”
Confirmed racers at the State Fair include: Wally Bender, the 2011 USLMRA Driver of the Year and AP Class National Champion; Ron Rollman, the 2011 USLMRA Most Improved Driver of the Year; Jason Brown, 2011 SP Class National Champion; Jordan Brown (daughter of Jason), the 2011 Top 10 National Rookie, as well as presidents and members of Lawn Mower Racing Associations from DelMarVa (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia), Tennessee, Florida and more.
Also on hand will be 2011 National Lawn Mower Racing Hall of Fame honoree Dr. Art Neavill of Michigan.
“Dr. Art is beloved for his spirit, love of competition and eagerness to help fellow racers,” said Bruce “Mr. Mow It All” Kaufman, USLMRA Founder & President. “Just before his retirement from the Michigan public school system, Art became a lawn mower racer, touring the country with his son-in-law and wife by his side, while intermittently battling cancer. Lawn mower racers across the country have benefitted from Art’s generosity. Be it a spare part, extra engine or entire lawn mower, if Dr. Art is in the pits, what’s his is yours.”
Rocket Man Racing, a six-man crew featuring members from Florida, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina, is another team that will compete. Rocket Man Racing features big names such as founder and four-time National Champion Pat Sullivan, his son and three-time National Champion Pete Sullivan, his son-in-law and two-time National Champion Mike Paccione and his grandson, who finished second in his rookie season last year, 10-year old Wyatt Sullivan. The three Sullivan males are the first and currently only three-generation family competing in the USLMRA.
Race time is set for 2-5pm on Saturday and 11am-2pm on Sunday. The lawnmower races are a free attraction with admission to the fair; fair admission is $12.00 for adults, $6.00 for children age 6-11 and free for ages five and under.
For more information visit www.letsmow.com or call (847) 272-2120.
About U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association
The STA-BIL Lawn and Garden Mower Racing Series is sanctioned by the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association(USLMRA), the nation’s oldest and largest lawn mower racing sanctioning body. Founded on April 1, 1992 and celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2012, the USLMRA sanctions and presents organized lawn mower racing across America including the 20-race STA-BIL Lawn and Garden Mower Racing Series and a network of 50 Local Chapters and Affiliated Clubs hosting more than 140 sanctioned races nationwide every year. STA-BIL lawn mower racers compete in ten classes at speeds up to 60 mph with all cutting blades removed. Race mower classes include Junior Prepared (8 mph), IMOW (20 mph), Prepared (50 mph) and Factory Experimental (60 mph).
About the Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair Authority oversees the operations of the Florida State Fairgrounds and the annual Florida State Fair. Since 1995, the Florida State Fair Authority has been under the administration of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam leads the Fair Authority and presides over the Fair Authority Board comprised of 20 leaders from throughout Florida.
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority is to create positive entertainment experiences through:
- The annual Florida State Fair
- A variety of year-round events Quality competitive programs
- A commitment to agriculture, education and community service
- A focus on new opportunities
The annual Florida State Fair is a salute to the state’s agriculture and equestrian industries including shows, music, rides, food and shopping for 12 consecutive days. Free entertainment and parking is included with admission.
STA-BIL, the title sponsor of USLMRA, is America’s top-selling fuel stabilizer that keeps fuel fresh for quick, easy starts after storage along with support from HEET Gasline Antifreeze, Start Your Engines! 104+ Octane Boost, No Leak, Alumaseal, RhinoRamps and GnomeFrenzy.