Turning A Lawn Mower into a Hot Rod

Thursday, February 5th 2009, 7:32 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

HARRAH, OKLAHOMA - The OK Corral in Harrah Oklahoma is where racers of all ages and genders converge to race whatever they feel like, including lawn mowers.

John Opichka and his 8-year-old son Tony have been racing for the last two years. Traveling to Harrah has become a routine trip for the pair.

"Every Saturday that there's a race here, we're here." John said. "I'm his dad, his pit crew, his mechanic, everything."

Tony's love for racing motorcycles is simple to understand.

"I like to go fast," the 8-year-oldsaid.

The Opichkas aren't the only father-son racing team who are regulars at the OK Corral. Tony Pease Sr. and his son Tony Jr. travel over two hours from Madill, Oklahoma to race their motoring monsters.

"I've come to race a lawn mower and a go cart." Pease Sr. said. "The mower doesn't have any blades. It sits too close to the ground for blades."

Pease Sr.'s mowers have an inside edge that he feels sets his mower apart from others.

"Most guys build stuff so their kids can race," Pease Sr. said. "My kid builds stuff so I can race."

And these aren't your typical gardening tools.

 "I think the lawn mowers, on a good track, will do 50 or 60 miles an hour," Pease Sr. said. "I have a hot rod mower that will do a wheel stand for 200 feet."

Pease Senior loves to drive, his son loves to build his racing machines from the ground up. His favorite class to race in is called "Run What You Brung".

"‘Run What You Brung' means pretty much, if it's got four wheels and one motor, you run what you brung," Pease Jr. said. "It needs to be lawn and garden equipment. Like the five horse power engine didn't come with lawnmowers, but they were in a lot of tillers, so, I mean, technically that's lawn and garden equipment."

No matter if it's motorcycles, go carts or modified lawn mowers, racing has become something everyone in the family can be a part of and enjoy.

"It's all a family affair," Pease Sr. said. "Kids, uncles, somebody races and everybody comes to watch. If they have never seen the races, they need to come here because they're pretty exciting."

Find out more about mower racing and other racing information at the OK Corral.