Anza Racing Mowers prepare for season in Rancho Cordova

Robert Love Jr. and Ken Eberly out front looking for the green flag to start the heat. Debbie Eberly photo
Robert Love Jr. and Ken Eberly out front looking for the green flag to start the heat. Debbie Eberly photo

Debbie Eberly

Special to Anza Valley Outlook

On the weekend of April 23 and 24 members of the Anza Racing Mowers traveled to the Big Time Speedway located in the Prairie City OHV Recreation Area in Rancho Cordova near Sacramento to compete in the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association Nationals I and II held on consecutive days.

Don Wimpee competing at USLMRA Championships. Debbie Eberly photo
Don Wimpee competing at USLMRA Championships. Debbie Eberly photo

The Big Time Speedway track is about the same size and made of decomposed granite like Anza’s track, however, it has a 7 percent bank which had the racer’s making adjustments to their mowers for the best possible performance.  Joining the Anza Racing Mowers in the competition were racers from Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and British Columbia Canada.  They also used transponders to track laps and speed.

On the first day of competition, Don Wimpee was knocked off his mower during the second heat race causing injury to his wrist badly enough to send him back to the pits and keep him from competing any further. Wimpee was competing in the BP Class and clocked at 30.7 mph fastest lap. The other racers from Anza all competed in the FX S&T classes.  In the Finals Robert Love Jr., Tom Tom Rozanski and Ken Eberly finished third, fourth and fifth respectively. Love Jr. had a top speed of 36.4 mph, Rozanski with 36.5 mph and Eberly with a 32.9 mph.

Ken Eberly, Tom Tom Rozanski and Robert Love Jr. display their winning medals. Debbie Eberly photo
Ken Eberly, Tom Tom Rozanski and Robert Love Jr. display their winning medals. Debbie Eberly photo

On the second day of competition there was only one heat race and the Finals Don Watson placed third in the heat race with a top seed of 35.1 mph, but blew a pan gasket at the end of the race and was unable to compete in the finals. Big Tom Rozanski to quote Don Watson “had everything possible go wrong with his mower,” and was not able to be competitive.  He did have a top speed of 34.9 mph before his troubles started.  The finals found Eberly taking third with a top speed 33.3 mph, Love Jr. Fourth top speed 37.9 mph and Tom Tom Rozanski with a top speed 37.7 mph.  Tom Tom Rozanski received a first place medal and a fourth place because FX which means Factory Experimental, is divided into 2 classes, twin engine and single engine when you don’t have enough racers to run the separate the FXS and FXT the mowers run together.

Anza Racing Mowers also had their own fairly large cheering section with several of the Love family making the trip, Terresa Love’s family, the Bentleys from the Sacramento area and Ken and Debby Eberly’s daughter and son-in-law, Jared and Tabetha Groves, made the two-hour drive from Reno to watch the competition.

Big Tom Rozanski, Tom Tom Rozanski and Don Watson kick'in it at USLMRA Championships. Debbie Eberly photo
Big Tom Rozanski, Tom Tom Rozanski and Don Watson kick’in it at USLMRA Championships. Debbie Eberly photo

All the racers have been hard at work over the winter making improvements to their mowers. We are looking forward to a really fun season we have some old faces and some new faces. Check out our Facebook page as there are lots of pictures from the trip posted there.

The Anza Racing Mowers will be making noise behind Diner 371 Saturday, May 14. Racing begins at 11 a.m. Drivers meeting is at 10 a.m. Pit passes are $1. Bring your own chair and shade. Volunteers are needed and welcomed. Come help us out, we have a job for you.

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