Here in the Waseca metropolitan area, we're enjoying our (FREE) county fair, and on the opening night, a friend came up to me and told me that they were having lawn tractor pulls on the street on the south side of the fairgrounds.
So I went, expecting to see a few little John Deere and Cub Cadet lawn tractors pulling a hay wagon or something like that. Nope, by the time I arrived, they'd progressed to the "open" division, and I quickly saw that each "lawnmower" engine had eight straight pipes coming up, they were weighted down to provide optimum traction, and the rear tires were by "Hoosier," just like at the dragstrip or NASCAR.
My son and I took a seat, and we quickly found that the trailer being towed was the back end of a bus chassis--complete with bus engine to provide drag for these little beasts, some of which I'm sure were getting in excess of 500hp.
No, they didn't have an undercarriage for mowing the grass. There was, however, one powered by a turbine that did very well. The trick seemed to be that you start off with medium power and then gently nudge it up to full power at about fifty yards into the track, hoping that you'd maintain good traction to counter the steadily increasing drag of the bus chassis to make it to the stop sign two blocks away.
So if you're going to get into this grand sport, all you need is a small block Chevy engine and some aftermarket parts to get more power out of it, a transmission, and some welding skill. Oh, and a pair of earplugs would help, too. You too can help 8th Avenue look like a dragstrip. I'll see you at Pizza Ranch after the festivities are over.
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