2018 STA-BIL Finals Recap

By Angeline Robinson

Another one in the books:

2018 STA-BIL Finals Recap

This past weekend was what I deem the saddest time of the year: the close of the Lawn Mower Racing season.

On the weekend of September 22, 2018, lawn mower racers from around the USA, and a couple of BLMRA members from England, all made their way out to Jonesboro, Arkansas to compete in the annual  Sta-bil Performance 360 Nationals. The forecast was constantly changing up until the very last minute. The chances of racing were slim to none according to Friday’s forecast. We all knew this, and we all decided that Mother Nature would not ruin our good time, even if she ruined our racing chances.

Although none of the RobbinDreams crew were in any contention for top points this year, we were going to Nationals, as we had some special awards to give away! And we were also hosting some pretty awesome British fellows; Charlie Gould, Vice President of the BLMRA and Les Pantry, BLMRA 12 hour coordinator. Every year the USLMRA as a whole votes on special awards to be given at the end of the year. Last year, my son Dylan Robinson was voted to win Jr Rookie of the year, and my husband Derrick Robinson was acknowledged with the Dubba G Everyman Award. We were determined to make it out to Arkansas to crown this year’s winners, and we did just that!

We arrived Friday afternoon at the Jonesboro Karting Complex, it was lovely. We were all hating that we couldn’t make it out to their national points race in June after seeing the track. It looked like a ton of fun to race on. We unloaded the trailer and started making rounds visiting with our extended family there in the pits. It was so wonderful seeing many faces that we hadn’t seen in so long. The British guys wanted to have an American steak for dinner, so they decided on Long Horn. We all had missed the wedding of Kerry and Debbie Evans in Oregon, so we all decided that a celebratory dinner was in place! It was a lovely evening with friends, chats, and laughs. We all said goodnight and retired to our hotel rooms after dinner.

Saturday came: I stepped out of our hotel, and it was raining! The radar said we may have a break in the rain, but it really didn’t look promising. We all arrived at the track and began the sign in process. Mr. Mow It All, Bruce Kaufman arrived from the airport in all of his glory. After sign in’s the aroma of wonderful food filled the pit area… I took a stroll around to find the Payne family from Oklahoma and the Cajun Mower Racing club cooking up some delicious food under the shelter in the pits. They had enough to feed an army over there, and boy was it good! Thank you all for your generosity! It was so nice to share a delicious meal with everyone! We all kept checking the weather and the track, there was no hope for racing. It was decided that the race would be called, and the points would fall where they were based on who had signed in to race that day. We were all sad but glad at the same time… it just meant it was a fun time with our racing family for the rest of the day! And fun we did have! I think the highlight of the day was seeing Harold McDonald getting pulled around by the Arkansas monster mower while waving at traffic from his make-shift sled. We all played around in the rain most of the day and watched all of the kids running back and forth playing with each other. We were then off to dinner and to rest up for the Sunday morning awards banquet!

Sunday morning, we all arrived at the Elk’s lodge in Jonesboro for our annual breakfast and awards banquet. Everything was quite lovely. Bruce, Kerry, and Manny all were in attendance, giving speeches and presenting trophies. Awards time came, the grand presentation that all were waiting for.

I would like to start this list by sending out a huge congratulations to each and every one of you who were able to take one of these coveted awards home for the 2018 season! And the winners were:

USLMRA Lawn Mower Racing Hall of Fame:  Ken Jones

Golden Blade:  NASGRASS

Gonzo Go To Fund:  Random Winners

National Staff Award:  Marty Callantine

National Staff Award:  Jacob Payne

Rookie of the Year, JP:  Gracie Enos

Rookie of the Year, Adult:  Justin Dewey

Most Improved Driver:  Smitty

Dave Hertel Mowtivation Award:  Kenny “Doc” Holder

Charles Powell “: Mr. Mowjangles Award:  Jason Murray

Dubba G “Everywoman” Award:  Angeline Robinson

Mace Mullins Crew Chief Award:  Doug Baber

Driver of the Year:  Monte McDonald

I will insert here that I now have had the great honor of receiving one of these coveted awards! I would like to explain some of the feelings that come along with this acknowledgment…. I had the privilege of being presented the coveted Dubba G Everyman (Everywoman) Award! The award was presented to me by my husband, Derrick Robinson (last year’s winner of the award) and Mr. Mow It All, Bruce Kaufman. Manny Torres had written a quite eloquent, truly remarkable speech about me! I cried; I ugly cried! I’m sure that Bruce relished in the moment, as he enjoys presenting us with such things that bring tears to our eyes. I am truly honored and still quite speechless that I was chosen for such an award. I am not a driver: I am just a wife, sister, and mom to my guys. I do love this sport so much, and I do everything in my power to help it, and this wonderful organization grow! As Dubba G says, “I have now found MY people!” Each one of you, near and far means the absolute world to me. I am truly thankful and forever grateful to all who had a part in my nomination. Even though I’m sure that I could have picked 20 drivers in that room that morning, all much more deserving than me to receive the award.

Thank you to all of the drivers, families, friends, and those crazy British guys who hopped over the pond and made their way to Arkansas to play in the rain with us! It was wonderful seeing you all, and I hope that we will see each one of you and many more next season! Until then, MOW on! 🏁