Lawn mower racing a cut above to some motocross enthusiasts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawn mower racing a cut above to some motocross enthusiasts

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By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) – If you've got a lawn mower and a need for speed, rev your engines.

The South Georgia Lawn Mower Racing League will be back on the track next Saturday in Thomasville. The group is nearing the end of the its Nascar-like points season.

These mowers are fast. And there are lots of interested drivers in our area.

That's why lawn mower racing is South Georgia's fastest growing motor cross thrill.

This isn't your ordinary backyard mower. These modified grass cutters are for a special breed of thrill seekers.

"It's not for wimps, that's for sure," says Russell Tinsley.

If you have the courage, the lawn mower racing league has a spot for you. From stock mower races for children as young as 8 to the faster souped up mower races for drivers over 15.

"I just turned 62 back in February so I'm probably the oldest driver out there."

Tinsley is the Vice President of The South Georgia Lawn Mower Racing League in Thomasville. He says it's easy to get started in lawn mower racing.

"You just got to get an old mower, strip it down and get it as low to the ground as possible."

The low center of gravity reduces the risk of flipping the mower as drivers take the turns at high speeds during the race.

"If we ran it straight out on the road it would probably run about 60-65 mph."

But the shorter track means the drivers normally keep their mowers at speeds that top out in 3rd gear.

"We made the track small on purpose. We didn't want speeds to get that high. Flat and short tracks keep speeds and injuries down."

But injuries do still happen.

"It's part of the game. You've got to find where the edge is on your mower and don't push it over. Cause if you push it over the edge, it's gonna flip you off. Accidents do happen."

And that's why drivers must wear protective gear.

"They have to wear a full face helmet, neck brace, gloves, long sleeve shirt, and long pants and boots that come over their ankles," Tinsley explains.

But full motocross uniforms are encouraged.

"I wear one cause I'm old and don't like to get broke. I enjoy doing it and as long as I have good health, I'm going to keep doing it."

And having already won four championships in the sport, he's doing a good job at it.

The next lawn mower race is noon Saturday, April 3rd at the Groundbuster Horse Arena in Thomasville.

The points-season will continue through June with an awards banquet to crown a champion.

For more information on how you can get started in lawn mower racing, you can call (229) 224-0435 or (229) 574-5524.

 
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