Head down to a county fair in Texas, and you may find helmeted men racing through dirt tracks at bristling speeds on, of all vehicles, lawn mowers.
The pastime is a strange motorsport that photographer Jennifer Boomer started documenting after moving to the Lone Star State. Indeed, lawn mower racing began as a joke, according to a July 2013 profile of the sport in the Wall Street Journal. It was meant to poke fun of the “slickness” of professional motorsports but eventually became a “mini-NASCAR” with its own trading cards and advertisers.
Found in many parts of the Midwest and South, lawn mower racing has a particularly strong following among old-timers in Texas.
“There was a bit of the ‘good ol’ boys’ in [the racers],” Boomer told Business Insider. “They’re very community-minded, but they’re having a good time.”
Lawn mower racing can be an expensive sport, with racers spending $US10,000 on a mower alone, though local companies often sponsor the races or racers. Blades are removed from the mowers for safety.
“We call it the poor man’s NASCAR,” Richard Lively, who has won the state championship in Texas multiple times, told the Longview News-Journal in 2011.
Boomer shared some of the photos with us here, but you can check out the rest of her work at her website.
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