AVON PARK – The NASGRASS Lawnmower Racers opened their season last Saturday with several new drivers entering the fray and making an immediate impact as last year’s champions were served notice early that repeating this year will not be an easy task.
It was also a night of sweeps as the winners in each class won both the heat and feature races, except in the Kart class.
Last year’s points champion Christian Galan was not present as newcomer Jacon Wallace won the heat race with an inside pass on the final turn of the last lap.
Wallace was not able to repeat that performance of Tom Boddy edged out Wallace in the feature to take the checkered flag.
In the youngest group, again last year’s champion Reed Wallace did not race as he moved up to the next class of youth drivers, which opened the door to another newcomer in Blaine Pollard, who won both the heat and feature races. Rylee Wallace, who finished second in points last year, finished third in the heat and second in the feature.
In the FX-Lite class, last year’s champion Sam Foster finished third in the heat and was unable to finish the feature as the racing Granny, Becky Kuhfeldt, took the checkered flag in both races, quickly serving notice that this class in going to be highly competitive this season.
In the GP class, Ken Wayman, who finished third last season quickly took the points lead with a pair of wins over last year’s champion Randy Gandy.
The GP Twin class also saw an early switch as last season’s runner-up in points Hal Polhill jumped to an early points lead over last year’s champions Tom Hodge. Polhilll won both races as Hodges finished in both.
Gandy may have finished second in the GP Class races, but this year Gandy moved up to the next to fastest group of racers and landed a pair of wins in the FXS class.
Last year’s champion Bruce Runyon finished third in both races behind Gandy and Sean Kennedy in the heat and Gandy and Mike Alcorn in the feature.
The fastest group, the FXT class, had an injection of new competition as newcomer Ben Blalock won both races over last year champion Matt Garner and former champion Wes Pyburn.
Garner finished fifth in the heat and third in the feature while Pyburn finished second in both.
Lawnmower racing will hold their second race of the season on Oct. 13 starting at 6 p.m. at the Avon Park Mower Plex.