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A DAY AT THE RACES

Fun, competition at Wild Coyote Days

 

August 2, 2018

Callie Jacobson

READY TO RACE – Women prepare for the Powder Puff heat of the lawn mower races at the Wilde Coyote in Thompson Falls on Saturday. Four women and 11 men competed in the races as part of the annual Wild Coyote Days festival.

Engines roared, dust flew, as racers took to the track for the third annual Lawn Mower Races at the Wild Coyote Saloon. There were 15 racers who showed up to give it their all for six laps around the dirt track that was installed for the lawn mowers to race on. There were 11 racers in the men's division and 4 in the women's. The registration fee was $5 and the money goes to the maintenance and running of the event.

Any lawnmower entered must be constructed out of "lawn mower" parts but "we are trying to establish a class system for modified lawn mowers in the future," said Shawn Franck, a three-year veteran of the races. Franck also commented that "you see a lot of mid-eighties lawn mowers in the race because that's what people have lying around, it's a fun hobby that doesn't cost a lot. Normally you don't put more than a couple hundred bucks into your lawn mower."

There were time trials set for qualification and each lawn mower was put to the test to see if it could stand up to the rest and last for the final race. After the trials, there was a men's final race of six laps and a Powder Puff women's final race of six laps. The last race was 15 laps to see whose lawn mower could outlast the rest for the victory. There was also a water truck on standby to wet the track and try to keep the dust level down. The Wild Coyote was open with refreshments for those in attendance to stop in and cool off from the heat. During the trials there were a few blowouts with Aaron Quinn's lawn mowing blowing its motor as well as Nate Saint and Garrett Jones's lawn mowers. Garrett Jones was fortunate enough to be able to switch to Dick Mosher's lawn mower and continue to compete.

Callie Jacobson

Gage Fuhrman

The winner in the men's division was Ken Kosowski, who won the 15-lap race, and Shawn Franck won the fastest lawn mower competition. In the women's division, the winner was Alysha Franck and second place going to Krissy Fisher. Fisher took a tumble and was thrown from her lawn mower after taking a tough turn but able to get back up and finish the race strong. Fisher was unfazed by the fall and in good spirits after finding out where she ended up in the standings.

Despite temperatures reaching 90 degrees, the heat didn't stop the excitement, with this year being the largest turnout for racers and fans. First year hopeful, Gage Fuhrman hoped to "clench the win" with his lawn mower this year but ended up fifth overall. "It was a lot of fun," Fuhrman said and he's excited to race again.

The Wild Coyote plans to have another round of lawn mower races in October.

 

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