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 second race in our 2015 Season, held during Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Spring AutoFair, was covered by Angeline Hartness Robinson. Enjoy!
It was a great weekend for lawn mower racing at the annual Spring Auto Fair at Charlotte MOWER Speedway!
The North Carolina weather was beautiful from the time that we arrived Friday right up until we left Sunday. It was sunny and in the 70’s all weekend with a light breeze. The stands for the fans were packed out both days! There were spectators standing along the fence, sitting up on the hill, fans were everywhere! I have attended each race that we have held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this is by far the most spectators that I have ever seen there!
We had drivers from Alabama, Arkansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee who came to race at Charlotte MOWER Speedway! We also had all of our fabulous USLMRA staff on hand this weekend! Kerry Evans was on hand handling all of the scoring and timing with his lovely assistant, Mrs. Emma Nutbrown. Richard Webb was the Chief Steward. Manny Torres was handling tech, assisted by Hayden Martin. Doc Kuhfeldt was on hand, and did a fabulous job announcing as usual. Bruce Kaufman, Mr. MOW It All was back in action over seeing all on track and off track events, and working hard to keep us organized and on schedule. We had the Fans Choice TV crew on hand filming live on Saturday, and Kevin Kelly Gold Eagle’s very own videographer shooting segments each day.
Friday was a busy day for all involved. Many drivers and crews normally spend their day and night traveling on the eve of a STA-BIL National race. I arrived to the Speedway around 5:00pm, alone! I had to leave my husband building a motor in our garage so that he could race it over the weekend. Several friends were already on site, but many were still on an interstate somewhere between their home and Concord, NC. There was no time to waste for me though. I knew that there was a pit party taking place that evening and I was in charge of making sure that it went well. And, well it did go! The food was great, but the crowd was fantastic. We had many drivers, crews, and families in attendance. We also had many Charlotte Motor Speedway employees there, and the crew from Fans Choice.TV was also there. It was great to catch up with everyone. I hope that everyone that attended left happy and full!
Now, on to some action… Saturday morning, the pits were buzzing with the indescribable sounds of generators running, mowers being fired up, and crews rushing to get all of their MOWchines ready to race. There were over 100 mowers rumbling around the track, all competing to bring home the coveted Charlotte Motor Speedway trophies. Trophies are awarded to the Top 5 MOWchines in each racing class. The Charlotte trophies are no joke though, these guys provide us with actual NASCAR trophies! They are huge! Racing this weekend was close in many classes, but very clean. I don’t even think I saw the black flag all weekend!
The JP and GPK classes are my favorite classes to watch. This is the future of lawn mower racing! These kids get on these different tracks and race just as hard as most of the adults do, but when they come off the track you can find them all playing, laughing, and having fun together! This is what this sport is all about; we will race you hard on the track, but shake your hand and be your best friend off the track! Congratulations to all of you on your excellent finishes this weekend. Wyatt Sullivan won the JP race Saturday; Jordan Brown won JP on Sunday. Wyatt Sullivan won both days on his GPK.
In the GP class there were several bumps, flips, and spills, but everyone went home in one piece. This class saw 23 lawn mowers each day competing to be crowned the GP champion of Charlotte MOWER Speedway! There could only be one champion for each day though. Saturday just so happened to be Jason Nutbrown’s lucky day after the race winner Jamie Mobley of the Kountry Kustom’s crew was disqualified for being over the maximum allowed RPM’s.
Sunday was Michael Paccione’s day for victory in the GP class. Congrats to all who competed in this class, there was a LOT of competition! Mitchell Dean and Charles Ford put on a crazy battle is the CP class Saturday. Dean was triumphant and brought home the victory. Ford rallied hard Sunday and victory was his. It was a great race to watch.
The competition this weekend was tough in every class! And the track was totally different each day. I discussed in my last blog that track conditions change from day to day, Charlotte proved to be no different. In fact, there were only just a few drivers that were able to maintain their Saturday victories on Sunday. They were; Wyatt Sullivan in the JP, Wes Pyburn in the FXS, and William “Derrick” Robinson in the FXT. Congratulations to you three on being the 2015 champions of Charlotte MOWer Speedway!
I must tell you all that some truly spectacular things happened this weekend. The USLMRA staff has an award called the “Spirit and Spark Award.” This award is designed to acknowledge people within our organization for doing good deeds for fellow racers, for being selfless in thinking of others or doing for others before doing for themselves, for going above and beyond the call of duty, and for being down right just good people! This organization is comprised of some of the best people that I have ever encountered from all across the country.
Some of the Spirit & Spark Awards from this weekend were given to some people who have been doing great things at a local level as well as a national level. USLMRA honored the Florida Chapter, NASGRASS and the Arkansas Lawn Mower Racing Association for their great efforts in building up their Local Chapters and both hosting a STA-BIL National Points Race this year. Both of these organizations are doing great things for the sport of lawn mower racing and we are honored to be able to work with them.
Hats off to Wes Pyburn, Christine Smith, Jason Murray, and Dr. Mow, Kenny Holder for a job well done! I am also honored and truly blessed to have received one of these coveted awards this weekend for all of my hard work and dedication around the different tracks that I go to and in our own shop at home! It truly means the world to me to be acknowledged in such a way. So thank you to my husband, Derrick Robinson, and thank you to Mr. Mow It All himself, Bruce Kaufman for presenting me with this award.
Now, I must tell you about another Spirit and Spark Award that brought tears to the eyes of many. Most of you know that Ms. Jackie Andrews, one of our own beloved drivers has been fighting a very courageous battle. She was unable to be here this weekend due some complications from her illness.
Well since we were filming live, we all knew that Ms. Jackie would be watching. Our announcer Doc Kuhfeldt along with Lou Filos decided that they would gather fellow racers up to surprise Ms. Jackie! They all gathered around the camera to send love and well wishes to her. Then, the crowd separated to show Ms. Jackie that even though she couldn’t join us that her mower could! Her mower would be driven by Dawn Filos this weekend! I know you did Ms. Jackie proud Dawn! Well, Ms. Jackie was moved by Doc and Lou’s thoughtfulness, so she sent Bruce a text asking him to give the two of them a Spirit and Spark award from her. Bruce read her sweet text as he presented the two with their awards. It was a moment that I will never forget.
So see guys and gals, we aren’t just racers, just crew members, just wives, just staff… We are all a well-oiled machine of loving, caring individuals who will do anything just to put a smile on the face of others!
So until next time; keep being good and doing well, someone is always watching!
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