The family that mows together, grows together, especially for North Carolina-based members of the Sullivan family and family teammates of the Rocket Man Lawn Mower Racing Team who will take to the dirt at the Charlotte Motor Speedway April 6-7 as the Food Lion Auto Fair hosts the STA-BIL Lawn & Garden Mower Racing Series for two days of dirt track racing lawn mowers at speeds up to 60 mph.
In addition to North Carolina, Rocket Man Racing team members hail from Florida, New York and New Jersey. The Rocket Man Team has seven drivers competing in nine of the 11 STA-BIL Series classes. Pat Sullivan of Venice, Florida is “The Rocket Man.” He started it all about 11 years ago, is a 4-time U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) National Champion and has built every one of the team’s ten machines.
Wyatt Sullivan of Raleigh, North Carolina is Pat’s grandson, racing at 11 years old, and was 2012 Co-National Champion in the Junior Prepared Class. Danny Sullivan, Pat’s nephew, is from Plattsburgh, NY racing with USLMRA when his ¼ mile asphalt racing schedule allows.
Pete Sullivan of Raleigh, Pat’s son and Wyatt’s dad, is a 5-time National Champion. Husband and wife racers Tina (Pat’s daughter) and Mike Paccione are from New Jersey. Mike is a 2-time National Champion. Joey, their son is the newest addition to the team as he is now old enough to race in the Junior Prepared Class.
Pat, Pete, and Wyatt are the first and only 3-generation racing family in the USLMRA, and have ten National Championships between the three of them. The team also has a pit crew of Pat’s grandchildren including, McKenna (nine), Nicholas (eight), and Olivia (six). The 2013 racing season also presents the second multi-generational Sullivan racing link, with Pat, Tina and Joey.
“We have two family lawn mower racing tree branches that each extend three generations,” said Pete Sullivan, a Partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina based firm of LStar Management, a privately held real estate investment firm. “My day job is all about helping families realize the American dream of home ownership, and my weekend passion is racing lawn mowers with my own family.”
The Sullivan family will join other lawn mower racers from across the country to compete in bladeless competition at the “The Greatest Place to See The Race”, Charlotte Motor Speedway. Racing starts at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and 12:00 p.m. on Sunday April 7.