We follow the USLMRA rules a regulations. www.letsmow.com has the rule book.
How fast do they go?
The speeds vary by class. Stock classes may only go about 6 to 8 mph. The Prepared (modified) class has been known to go as fast as 70 mph. Top speed for prepared class is not reached on most tracks.
Do they have blades on them?
NO! The blades are removed! The blades must be removed when racing and it is the very first rule under General Mower Requirements.
How long have people been racing lawn mowers?
There has been organized lawn mower racing in the U.S. and in England for more than 30 years.
How do I make my racing mower go faster?
Notice the question included "racing mower", not the mower you cut grass with. For safety reasons we will never offer suggestions of how to make your family mower faster!
As for the mower you intend to race, you will need to change your belts and pulleys to achieve a different final drive ratio. We cannot specify which pulleys will work best because every mower is different and there are a lot of variables -- such as weight of the mower, the driver, etc. Stock mower steering can not be use, not built for high speed.
Remember this formula:
Small front pulley + large rear pulley = slow
Large front pulley + small rear pulley = fast!
What's the best mower to use?
The best mower to use are the free ones. They keep more money in the pocket to work with. But if you ask 15 different racers you'll get 15 different answers as to what is the best mower. It's basically what works for you.
What about the blade deck?
Keep the blade deck on. Plus, you should bolt it solid so that it will hold your weight as well as not sway when you drive the mower. Check the Official rules for specific build rules and clearances.
What about safety equipment?
Always make sure that you have on safety gear when practicing or racing. Helmet, gloves, long pants, sleeves and neck support are mandatory in the USLMRA. Lawnmower racing is fun but it can also be dangerous.
A tethered kill switch is a device that will shut down the engine if you happen to get bucked off. For safety reasons, it must be securely attached to the driver and the mower! Most snowmobile or marine shops have these available. Also, NAPA has a selection of them in their accessories catalog.
Who do I go to on the day of a race to find out if my machine is legal to race?
Even though you may have followed the suggested build fules, you still need to have it inspected. Ask the day of the race for the Chief Technical Inspector that is handling the race that day. You will also need to obtain a race registration form, and a technical inspection form.
What can I do with the steering?
Spend some time to get the play (looseness) and deflection out of your steering and front suspension. If you do have play or deflection, you have no true setting, thus, less control and speed. To improve the handling some racers bolt or weld the front end solid (where it pivots). Prepared class must use an approved front axle. See USLMRA rule book.
Can I modify the engine?
Yes, in Prepared and FX classes you can. Work on the engine like your would traditionally with an automobile (port & polish, etc.). What type of engine is up to you and the class division you intend on running. It must be a lawn mower engine and most racers run Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh. Some guys run a Honda lawnmower engine. All seem to do great!
Stock and IMOW classes are governed at 3650 RPM and therefore the governor cannot be removed. Prepared and FX classes allow such modifications. See the Official Rules for specific build rules. Also, you can install a hand or a foot throttle. However, it's up to you, your driving style and preferences on which you choose.
I want to start racing in the FX or BP class. But how?
USLMRA does not allow first time mower racers to race in BP or FX classes, get your feet wet in IMOW, AP, SP, or CP and get a "feel" for a lawn mower chassis. Then you can move up to the faster classes.
Is There any money in the sport?
WE DO NOT RACE FOR PURSE MONEY!!! We race for FUN, trophies, points and bragging rights and sometimes for lawn ornaments! If any money is made available to racers, it is shared equally among every racer for gas money and to help with their expenses.
What is STA-BIL?
STA-BIL is the best selling fuel stabilizer that keeps gas fresh in power equipment for quick starts. STA-BIL is used for lawn mowers, boats, snowblowers, and most outdoor power equipment as well as cars, trucks and even locomotives.
How can I get started, or is there anyone in my area?
Go to www.letsmow.com for Local Chapters and contact people. They should be able to help you get started. Then get a mower and go to a race!
Local chapter for Louisiana and SouthEast Texas is Cajun Mower Racing Association (CMRA).