The 2012 USLMRA STA-BIL Lawn and Garden Mower Racing Season is in full swing. As we head to Oil City Louisiana we now have 2 rounds in the books. The USLMRA has already brought to Florida and Georgia the kind of excitement a 20th anniversary season deserves. With added classes at the top end of the sport and bringing back a little old school, budget friendly, stock engine racing and plenty of mow left in the middle the expanded line up there truly is a class for everyone! Coming off of one of the largest B/P classes we have seen for years in McDonough, Georgia the rumors of the FX/T’s stealing the V-thunder from the prepared chassis has been harshly dispelled. Series Champions with rough season starts, and rookies finding the front of the pack sends us into round three on blade tips and fender flares as we mow on!
When Tennessee’s John Michael Bell decided to drop the governor off his 2011 Champion J/P ride and go GP/K racing that left the class ripe for the picking. Young Jordan Brown took immediate advantage of the situation posting a 1200 point weekend in Florida’s season opener but when she failed to show in Georgia. Wyatt Sullivan matched her leaving us with a tie at the top of the class headed to Louisiana. Keeping the leaders close Is Florida’s Buddy Pippin and Alabama’s Jacob Dean only 100 and 150 points behind. The new MDLMRA rounds out the top 5 with Lauren Filos at 850 points.
John Michael “Shorty” “Hollywood” Bell is working on having as many titles as he has names, but he is going to have to work for it in the new GP/K class. Only 150 points separates the top 3 as Mariah Peeler nips his Turfs in second with Lauren Filos barely trailing her in 3rd.
Another Class Champion, Pat Sullivan, decided to park his gears and left IMOW for GP. Series “almost champion” from 2011, Wally “I won’t win” Bender seems dead set on proving my statement that “Wally will Win” from last season dead wrong. Posting every type of “D” finish available with a DNF in Florida and a DQ as well as a DNS in Georgia I honestly don’t know how he finds himself sitting 3rd in IMOW? Wally, dnough is dnough finish a race buddy! Fellow MDLMRA member Keith Beacom comes off a 13th place season to take full advantage of D situation and has put up 2150 points more than doubling Lou Filos 2nd place run. Richie Pippin shares third place with D Wally and Chris Chupp splits 5th with Retired Michigan Proctologist Dr Art Neavill.
In A/P we have our first returning champion as last year’s Co-Cup Holder Bender pulled out of Florida with a commanding lead, winning both rounds over long time mini mower wheel man Pete Sullivan. THAT didn’t last long when Pete Posted a 1st and 2nd in Georgia when D-Wally flopped another pair of dum-dums and Michael Paccione Swapped his Rocket Man Racing stable Mate’s placing with a 1-2 weekend of his own moving himself into third overall pushing Florida’s Joe Pearce into 4th. Jackie Andrews nudges Tina Paccione out of the final spot in the top 5 with 3rd and 4th place runs in Georgia.
I am quite honestly amazed that Wally isn’t racing a GP, with all the D’s flying around the leader board in that class He would feel right at home! Pat Sullivan is the Only Mowron in the Top 5 without a “D”, and he is sitting 4th. 5Th place Racin’ Jason Brown needs to put a wall between his mowers and Wally’s in the trailer as he pulled a Win after a Wally, err I mean a DQ in Georgia. Florida’s Isaac Greene Tops D Charts followed by Kevin Nipper and Scott Beacom sits 3rd.
In S/P we have a champion acting like a champion! 2011 Cup holder Jason Brown comes out of the gate in 2012 setting the bar high with 3 wins in 4 races! In 2nd place Wally Bender has posted scores in every race he started! Michael Paccione sits only 50 points off of Wally and Jackie Andrews Splits 4th/5th with Michigan J/P Graduate Kelsey Van Epps!
C/P once again has no dominate driver. Though Three-Pete Sullivan is definitely the force to be reckoned with the amount of competition in the class leaves no-one at easy victory. MDLLMRA’s Keith Beacom and Kevin Ferguson have both brought home wins putting them 2nd and 3rd. 2011 Georgia F/X rookie sensation Chris Cox shows he knows how to build those one lung OHV engines pulling up 4th and Tennessee’s “Tommy Gunn” Flynn rounds out the top 5.
Ronald Rollman seared his way into the USLMRA history books in 2011 by being the man who beat the man, defeating 5 time B/P Champ King Jason Mikula for the Cup. Rollman rides on with last year’s mowmentum starting the season the same way he ended it, atop the leader board and 1 spot ahead of Jason Brown. A pair of Florida 2nd place finishes holds Gary Grinder in 4th just 50 points behind Michigan’s Glenn Van Epps. Long time USLMRA Super Star the engine answer man pulled out new paint and new power at the Southern Shoot Out pulling a Win and a third the news of the day was Wow Bobby Cleveland is FAST!
Kevin Nipper has set the south on fire in F/X, winning 4 of 4 so far he is the first to post a quad in any class. Despite yet another pair of dum-dum’s Wally Bender finds himself in second. Florida’s Jerry Gilberts pair of 2nd’s puts him in third, Kenny “Doc Mow” Holder holds down 4th and Dixie Outlaw Tony Hinson rounds out the top 5.
The Rocket Man Pat Sullivan is mowing away with FX/s. With 3 wins in 4 races Sullivan’s 2300 points makes 2nd place Manny Torres otherwise respectable 1450 score look like an “also ran”. Jacob Herrin only used half the shows to call 3rd spot home and Drew “Hot Rod” Maurice holds off Thomas Flynn by only 50 points. The low slung singles could be a class to watch as almost all of them are brand new mowchines. As the season wears on and the drovers start figuring this brand new class out you can expect to see a lot of racing!
When the word got out that Western Ontario Outlaw’s king of the tight twisted twin would be running the full STA-BIL Series schedule this year a lot of folks expected Ryan Kerr to run away with the championship. Though “The Bandit” has been strong , winning 50% of the races run as of yet, his own Ryker Racing team mate Richard Webb shows consistency is key, with a win a pair of 2nd’s and a third to his credit he sits atop the leader board. With Kerr officially listed as a Michigan member, the MLMRA holds the top 3 spots as Glen “Double Nutz” Van Epps sits only 100 points off Kerr. Wes Plyburn sits in 4th and Doc Mow holds another prescription for excellence in 5th place.
Once again Wally Bender finds himself the subject of much attention. Though soon to be dubbed D-Wally if he doesn’t shake the D’s the fact remains that the Iron Man is sitting no worse than 3rd place in all 4 classes he has competed in. How about the new MDLMRA, they hold 14 top 5 places in the standings. Team Rocket Man Racing has 3 class leaders and 3 more top 5 places and Tina Paccione makes their 5th driver, Tina is only 50 points out of a top 5 status!
The excitement of the 20th Anniversary run of the USLMRA has brought many long time locals to the National Scene. The added governed classes have finally put a National standard to budget racing and the Low Seater FX addition has definitely stirred the pot! Hold on to your tethers folks, we are only in round #3!!
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