Lawn mower racing in Buckeye

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By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- There's a new race that's picking up speed, using your lawn mower instead of a car or truck.

You'll get a chance Saturday night to take a look at it during the demolition derby at the Helzapoppin' Rodeo Arena in Buckeye.

The event also features full car and truck derbies and "Old Guys" NASCAR.

"We started out with two lawn mowers, got up to about 12 or 15 now," said Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck. "They run them during the derby so you'll see the derbies tomorrow night. It's a fun thing. This place will be packed."

"It's grassroots racing at its best," said David Calvert, president of the Arizona Lawn Mower Racing Association. "It's fun to take something that's not designed to go fast and make it go really fast."

Normally, a sit-down mower tops out at about 6 mph. These former grass cutters fly around the track at speeds of 40 to 50 mph.

"Pick up a mower on Craigslist or from your neighbor's backyard, put a kill switch on it and improve the brakes, a tinker here, a tinker there and you're racing," Calvert said.

Gates open at 5:20 p.m. and the derby starts at 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12.