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Lawn mower racing buzzes into Estacada

Pacific Coast Open set Fourth of July weekend

As America celebrates its birthday over the long Fourth of July weekend, 'Ready, set, mow!' will be the call in Estacada as the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association and Estacada Area Community Events present the U.S. Pacific Coast Open lawn mower races Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3.

Race mowers will converge from across the west at the 'Mow Bang Raceway,' 30900 S.E. Eagle Creek Road in Estacada, for two days of sod-slinging action. Trophy racing begins at 7 p.m. with preliminary racing at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $5, free for ages 12 and younger. A family discount coupon is available at facebook.com/Estacada4thofJuly.

'We are going to kick grass this Fourth of July weekend,' said Dan Skoog, EACE member and race promoter of the U.S. Pacific Coast Open. 'We have built a custom lawn mower racing track - the Mow Bang Raceway - and are going to see racing mowers slinging sod at speeds up to 50 mph.'

'The mow the merrier this Fourth of July weekend,' said Race Director Bud Elmore, from Anza, Calif. He will spend the entire week before the races preparing the track.

'The entire town is so into this. The folks in Estacada are jacked up for this event and promise a great track and super hospitality. There are lawn mower racing clubs in California, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Washington and we welcome everybody!

'We'll also have some 'fun runs,' exhibition racing and grudge matches on July 4,' Elmore added. 'The Bone Stock class mowers will show off and entertain the crowd before the Fourth of July Big Bang Fireworks Show.'

The U.S. Pacific Coast Open marks the association's return to the Pacific Coast and the Pacific Northwest Region.

'This is our first event in the great state of Oregon,' Elmore said. 'Now, the Beaver State is going to be on the cutting edge of motorsports.'

The 'Mowmentum' will continue with the formation of the Northwest Mower Racing Association, based in Beaverton. The association plans to race across the state at fairs, festivals and municipalities. The website is nwmowerracing.com, and local sod warriors are encouraged to join the fun of this inexpensive, family-oriented motorsport.

Founded on April 1, 1992, the association sanctions and presents organized lawn mower racing across America, including the 18-race STA-BIL Lawn and Garden Mower Racing Series National and a network of 50 local chapters and affiliated clubs hosting more than 150 sanctioned races nationwide each year. Race mower classes include junior prepared (8 mph), IMOW (20 mph), prepared (50 mph) and factory experimental (60 mph).