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Local Mowers Making it Big on the National Scene

Earlier this month, somewhere between 40 and 50 contestants from across the country showed up at Bowles farm in Clements for their 4th Annual Lawn Mower races.

Jason Brown, 30 of Clements, managed to pull out a “from behind” victory in the S/P class race on both Friday and Saturday night. Brown described the races as being in the right place at the right time.

“I was very surprised because the Saturday night race was almost luck,” said Brown. “It just happened that he slipped up on the last turn. They went high and left it open for me going underneath them.”

Brown said he had an exhaust problem with his mower Saturday night that made him lose a lot of power. “I couldn’t have passed them without them slipping up.”

Brown has only been racing for a few years, after a group of local business owners got the idea to set up a team while watching the races at Bowles Farm. “A couple local business people bought a lawn mower a couple of years ago and somehow it worked out that I ended up driving it,” said Brown.

There are several different classes in the races, determined by the modifications on the mowers. The S/P class is defined as mowers with valve-in block single cylinder four stroke engines with over 8.5hp. S/P class mowers must have 39 inch minimum unaltered wheelbase with a minimum of five inches for the front wheels and eight inches for the rear wheels.

Brown drives an MTD which is lowered, made a little wider and has had a lot of engine work done.

This weekend, Brown and his family head to Illinois with fellow local racer, Wally Bender, of Bryantown, to compete in another race, chasing points for the national competition.

Bender came in second to Jason in the Saturday night S/P class race. “That was my better night,” said Bender. “I came in fifth Friday.” Bender had mechanical issues Friday night but got them straightened out for the Saturday race.

“It was an exciting race,” said Bender. “All four of us were pretty much nose to tail from start to finish.” Kenny Williams, a racer from Pennsylvania, held first place until the final turn when he blew his tire out, leaving the window open for Brown to overcome for the win and Bender for second.

Bender races 3 mowers; a late ‘80s model MTD in the S/P class, an ’81 Huffy in the A/P class and a mower in the IMOW class. The IMOW class is different from others because the mowers are all pretty much alike. “That’s kind of a driver’s race,” explained Bender.

Brown and Bender have both traveled nationally to states including Florida, North Carolina and Ohio for races. Both Brown and Bender are ranked in the top five national S/P rankings based on points. Brown also ranks high rankings in the B/P class.

Brown and Bender will both travel to Ohio to compete in the national championships in the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

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