As I pulled my car into the Carolina Speedway last September for the 2016 STA-BIL 360 Performance Finals, I realized it had been a while since my last lawn mower race.

As I settled into the pits and the noise, came upon me, I looked out at the scene and saw that much had changed…and nothing changed at all.

The machines were faster, the drivers were younger and the track seemed quicker.  The technology was better, the mechanical ingenuity was more advanced and the racing classes had expanded.  And yet, the people were the same.  As friendly faces greeted me, and new folks introduced themselves I quickly realized that the special culture we created together was intact, vibrant and once again on full display.

The racing that night was superb:  fast, clean, exciting and safe, and the post-race hospitality in the pits with food, drink and birthday cake was the perfect topper for the evening.

The next morning I drove to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to join the annual USLMRA Awards Banquet.  Seeing Bruce, Kerry and Manny all in suits and ties could have been highlight of the event – but it was not.

The highlight of the event was being with YOU:  the racers, families and friends of the USLMRA.  As we gathered at the Speedway Club high up in Smith Tower, I saw and felt first-hand the passion, commitment and love of lawn mower racing – and for Gold Eagle Co. who helped bring this sport to America 25 years ago.  I sat back and watched the trophies, awards, Hall of Fame inductions, racing commendations and a few tears fall as we celebrated ourselves and what we have created.  I saw families, grandpas, grandsons, husbands and wives, uncles and nephews, neighbors and co-workers from coast to coast joined together by a common love of sport and good fellowship.  From the Pacific Northwest to New England and from the Gulf of Mexico to the prairie of the American Heartland we came together to celebrate ourselves.

For Gold Eagle Co., lawn mower racing has always been about promoting STA-BIL.  For USLMRA, lawn mower racing has always been about building fast, safe mowers, racing with our buddies and having fun.  Fortunately, these two objectives have become one goal, and I saw that again first-hand last September.

Now, as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, please join me in a renewed commitment to achieving these goals.  On behalf of both Gold Eagle Co., your friends at STA-BIL and the USLMRA Board of Directors:  Happy 25th Anniversary!  And may there be MANY MOW!

Marc. C. Blackman