Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mowing 'em down in Winterport

Well, Maine has all sorts of innovative(?) racing sports to pick from. Now you can add lawnmowers to the list (if you haven't already). The Winterport Dragway lets riders rip loose on a regular basis. Next race? That would be Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, when they host the 9th Annual Fall Car Show, Drag Race, Gassah Guys (Flag Start), Hot Rod Lawn Mower Shoot Out, ATV/Quad Challenge, Swap Meet, Camp Out Weekend, AND MORE!!

As usual, the Bangor Daily News was fast on the draw back in June, and covered the story:
'It's fun': Hot rod lawn mowers compete at Winterport Dragway
6/12/10 05:57 pm Updated: 6/14/10 12:22 pm
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

WINTERPORT, Maine— While hundreds of people were at the Winterport Dragway on Saturday to see fancy car after fancy car, for five drag-racing friends, it was all about lawn mowers.

During a car show Saturday, five souped-up lawn mowers competed in the Hot Rod Lawnmower Shootout.

Peter Gould of Corinna may be the one to blame for all this. He built three of the racing mowers, including a purple one for his daughter.

“We built it just to race it,” Gould said of his orange Case tractor.

To build it, Gould bought a generator so he could rip out the engine and install it in his racer.

“The kids started doing it and, of course, the adults got into it, too,” he said Saturday as he sat waiting for his race.

So maybe Gage Reynolds, 17, of Bangor is really the one to blame.

“We used to pick on him. Now he is kicking our butts,” said fellow racer Lenny “The Viper” Voisine of Waldoboro.

Voisine said they’re a competitive bunch. He has a red Craftsman stick-shift lawn mower he calls “Bad Attitude.” The five of them all race for points. At the end of the season in October, a Hot Rod Lawnmower Shootout champion will be named. For now, they race for points to earn that title.

“It’s just a bunch of guys acting crazy,” he said at the dragway.

A bunch of guys and a 12-year-old girl, that is.

Kassey Gould, 12, of Dexter drives the small purple tractor she helped her dad build from scraps.
“[At school] they think I’m weird because I’m the only girl who drag races. No boys at school do. It’s fun,” she said.
For $12, anyone with a riding lawn mower can cruise down the runway for trophy prizes. The sport has evolved in its time at the Winterport Dragway.

“We started this six years ago for the kids to ride real lawn mowers,” said track president Bob Reynolds, stressing the word “real.” “Look at what it has become.”

Bob Reynolds, who is Gage’s grandfather, said that when the lawn mower races started, they ran them only halfway down the dragway.

“When we started this they were so slow that it reset the timing system before they reached the finish line. They dialed in minutes — not seconds,” Bob Reynolds said.

Bob Reynolds said his grandson’s lawn tractor now can go as fast as his Chevy pickup — but it might not be as reliable.

“A lot of them break. They have a tremendous amount of mechanical errors,” he said.
For information, call the dragway at 223-3998.

Full article here:
Here is one of many Winterport mower races posted on YouTube:

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