A Note From USLMRA President Bruce “Mr. MowItAll” Kaufman
Each race in this year’s STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series will be covered by one of our own members, a designated “Pit Reporter” who’ll report back on the weekend’s happenings, the racing action, and mow!
The sixth race in our 2015 Season, held at Bowles Farms in Clements, MD, was covered by Angeline Hartness Robinson.
The 6th stop on the 2015 USLMRA STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series landed us in the great state of Maryland on the weekend of July 31 & August 1, 2015. This race is held annually at the beautiful Bowles Farms in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
This is always one of the largest mower races of the year not only in racer turn out, but in fan turn out as well. People pile in by the thousands to support the St. Mary’s County Optimist Club and the St. Mary’s County Seventh District Rescue Squad. There are stands all around this track and they were packed for both days of racing.
If you’ve not been to Bowles Farm yet, put it on your list for next years “must attend” races! Mr. Tommy and Mrs. Tina Bowles host one of the best races that anyone will ever attend. The property is beautiful; the track is nestled back behind their family home and their massive cornfields. On the way into the track, you’re greeted by the one and only Sponge Bob Square Pants standing out in the field. He is HUGE!
Bowles Farm is a very family oriented place; they have on site concessions, bounce houses for the kids, and a trolley to help if you have to park a ways away. They also have air-conditioned restrooms, which are a welcome relief after baking in the summer sun all day. They also host a pit party the night before race day. There’s great food, good fellowship, and live music; it’s lots of fun!
Let’s talk about that track; these people really know how to make a racetrack! The surface was as smooth as glass, the track is very fast, but man it is FUN! The track has a long front straight away to get the mowers up to maximum speed right before dropping down into turn 1. Turn 2 is what we call a hairpin turn; it’s tight and unforgiving. From there, you maneuver your way through the tricky chicane on what would be the backstretch! It’s awesome! Now I hope that I’ve talked you all into checking them out next year!
Let’s get down to some racing. With approximately 90 lawn mowers registered to race throughout 11 classes, it was sure to be interesting. There were many tumbles and spills, but thankfully everyone will make it to mow another day! Let’s all send our well wishes to Peter L’Heureux out of Connecticut as he recovers from a racing incident.
Normally, you will see your best races racing for the first place position. Not this weekend though. I think the most exciting part of the races were those going on between the second and third positions. Most of the winners had their first place positions locked in from the start, as long as their MOWchines stayed together. In the GP class, Michael Paccione came from what seemed like out of no where, racing Jason Brown hard for the second place position behind Lauren Filos. Jason was ultimately passed by Michael, but neither one could manage get around Lauren.
Then in the FXS class, Wes Pyburn and Bill Haynes were racing Mariah Peeler hard for her second place position behind Manny Torres, neither could manage to get past Mariah on this track though. Again in the FXT class, Andy Clabough giving Derrick Robinson a good hard run for his second place position behind Mike Collins, but he just didn’t have the time to get by him. This was racing at its best, and I’m glad I could witness it.
Now for one of my favorite things about Maryland; when the final checkers fall on Saturday night; It’s PARTY TIME!!! Most of the racers and their crews stick around for some on track fun. They turn the music up, there’s dancing on the track, there’s sharing a cold one with the guys you just finished racing, there’s love, there’s laughs, there’s FAMILY!!! That’s what it’s all about!
Ladies and gentlemen, it truly was a great weekend of racing! If you weren’t here, you should be next year! Thank you Ronnie Mattingly, Tommy Mattingly, “Roger Dodger” our event announcer and Tommy and Tina Bowles and the entire extended Bowles Family!
In closing, I do ask that each one of you take a moment to please pray for Ms. Jackie Andrews. Maryland just wasn’t the same without her. We love and miss you Ms. Jackie!
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