It’s a scene right out of a “King of the Hill” episode: a riding lawn mower race. The first annual Thunder Valley Lawn Mower Drag Races were held at the recent Maine Blueberry Festival/Union Fair in Union, according to a report in the Belfast Republican Journal.
About 25 people competed on a dirt tract in five classes: stock, hydro, small super stock, big super stock and outlaw. Racers could move up in as many classes as they liked with the same mower.
They raced two at a time down a 150-foot long straight track in a double-elimination format. Competitors had to provide their own riding tractor-style lawn mowers (no zero-turns allowed) which could be modified depending on class, wear a helmet, and be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license. Those under 18 had to have a signed waiver from a legal parent or guardian.
The rules for all classes of mowers stated that the engine must be a stock, naturally aspirated type, and that the chassis, drive train and rear-end transaxle must also be stock.
The mowers had to also have working brakes, four wheels, a kill switch or key, and run on 94-octane regular gas, but an octane boost to 110 was allowed for engine protection. The mower must also have been used to cut grass at least once.
Winners received trophies and $70, while second-place finishers won $30 per class, with additional cash prizes given to the top two (outlaw and big super stock) classes. Ribbons also were given to the top finishers in each class.
Dan Littlefield of Belfast won the stock class; Cliff Pendleton of Lincolnville, the hydro class; Joe Young of Warren, the small super stock class; Brian Dyer of Lincolnville, the big super stock class; and finally, Eric Tolman of Warren won the outlaw class.
There was no comment from Hank, Dale, Bill or Boomhauer.