Can you feel the HEAT? Can you taste the SHRIMP? Can you smell the GAS? Can you feel the ANTICIPATION? Can you breathe the HUMIDITY? Can you inhale the DUST? Can you feel your face break out in SMILE? Can you see the RAIN? Can you hear the ROAR? Can you revel in the GLORY? Can you LAUGH? Can you CRY? You can? You did? Yeah, me too! And so it was at the 20th Annual STA-BIL Nationals Weekend in Delaware, MOWhio. Man, what a weekend.
As our extended family of lawn mower racers gathered for our annual End of Summer ritual, Mother Nature decided to throw us some curve balls, including two of the hottest days in the Buckeye State this year along with a dose of rain that would make Oregon proud.
But we were up to the challenge, and with some schedule shifting and racers willing to brave the Saturday heat, we made it happen.
The STA-BIL Keeps Gas Fresh Finals on Saturday night saw some of the best lawn mower racing action this side of the Atlantic; the food and camaraderie were unsurpassed; the Hall of Fame Ceremonies were as always, moving and emotional; and our annual Awards Banquet was the perfect capper to the weekend.
With 115 mowers on site, it was one of our best-attended Nationals in recent years. As always, our national race staff ensured a quality event for all our racers: Kerry Evans, Manny Torres, Rodney Peeler, Richard Webb, Chrissy Webb, Bobbie Peeler, Barry “B-Man” Sullivan, Lou Filos, Wally Bender, Bud Elmore, Lee Vine, Sarah from Maryland have my personal thanks for stepping up and kicking grass.
Our venue host, the Delaware Agricultural Society was as laws an accommodating and enthusiastic host, with Tim Wood, Larry Moreland, Al Myers and Matt Strine making sure we were well taken care of.
And of course, Gold Eagle Co., makers of STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer, who has been absolutely wonderful in their support, nurturing and oversight of the USLMRA since 1992 – 20 YEARS!!!!
The following is from Marc Blackman, President / CEO Gold Eagle Co. and USLMRA Board Chairman:
On behalf of the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, Gold Eagle Company, and the Delaware Agricultural Society, thank you for attending the 20th annual STA-BIL Nationals Weekend. It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago we were busy planning for the first STA-BIL Nationals, and yet here we are, kicking grass and while mowing and growing every year. Our 2011 STA-BIL Nationals Weekend will again bring together racers from across America and Canada for three days of racing, camaraderie and fun. The USLMRA has been working hard all year to plan an event that will bring you safe, fun and enjoyable competition while opening our build rules so that racers from various sanctioning bodies and independent groups can be here. We have a truly great weekend of racing and socializing in store for you. Gold Eagle Company remains committed to the USLMRA and the sport of lawn mower racing. Plans are already underway for our 20th Anniversary Year in 2012 so stay tuned!
As is tradition, Gold Eagle Co. STA-BIL and the USLMRA are proud to provide some special gifts for racers at the STA-BIL Nationals.
- A Personalized Racing Action Photo.
- A Commemorative Coffee Mug.
- A DVD copy of our Fox Sports Net TV shows (to be sent later this Fall).
Some of my favorite memories from the weekend, in no particular order include: helping Tina Paccione gather up the pit of George G. Feldman IV before the rain came; the tears in Jackie Andrews’ eyes as she accepted the 2011 Dave Hertel Mowtivaiton Award; meeting Sammie and Marion Neel and Scott and Michelle Bittle from Texas; watching Lee Grover race in the AP Finals; watching Ron Rollman race in the BP Finals; grooving on John Nelson’s “Mow Longer” and the CCCCCP Class; taking photos of John Michael “Shorty” Bell and his dad Mike in the TV winners circle after Finals; shrimp and Conecuh sausage (YUM!); the expression on George Herrin’s face as he spoke of the racer that his son Jake has become; seeing Art Neavill and John Nelson indicted into the Hall of Fame; remembering Charles Powell; receiving a new watch from Jim Maurice; being in the presence of Rocket Man Pat Sullivan; the pure joy in Jason Brown’s face after wining both the SP and BP Finals; being around Wally Bender and seeing him redefine the word Gentleman on an ongoing basis.
And these memories just scratch the surface of the 2011 STA-BIL Nationals Weekend.
2012 is our 20th Anniversary Season, so look out HERE WE MOW!