Trucking (and Tractoring) With Twisty - Mower Season is Almost Over  by Mike Twist
The Truck Has Been Parked for the Season, The Mower is Ready to Go One More Time
The tractor racing season is winding down in Maine and Friday night, the season finale will take place for the North Saco Pathfinders Lawnmower Racing club.  Coincidently, the PASS 400 weekend will be in full swing just a few miles away at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME).
So for one night, the two racing worlds will collide.  In addition to the regular line-up of Modified Mowers and the Stock Class (where I race my #51 Murray mower), there is also going to be a special PASS Driver feature race to help make up the “Mow Down Showdown” event.

So far, the drivers who are tentatively scheduled to take part in the race include Mike Rowe, Johnny Clark, Ben Rowe, Cassius Clark, Richie Dearborn, Chris Kennison, Scott Chubbuck, Derek Ramstrom and Curtis Gerry.  The Modified community will get to go for bragging rights too with True Value Modified Racing Series competitor Tony Ricci take part.

The racing mowers have had a high profile friends lately too.  NASCAR Busch Series and Super Late Model racer Travis Kittleson stopped by the Pluffybilt shops on his way to the New Brunswick 250 a few weeks back.  Plus, another race personality test one out recently as well.  SPEED TV correspondent and head Bob Dillner stopped by the SP2 Mowersports/Pluffybilt shops on his way to the recent NASCAR races at New Hampshire International Speedway. 

He was joined by fellow 51ers myself, Matt Dillner and Matt Kentfield.  It was only natural that a few little match races broke out in the shop parking lot, with the mower rookies reporting that they had a blast on the powerful, but top heavy machines.

I’ve been getting a hang of my #51 lately as well.  I’ve made the feature for both of the most recent shows and finished a career-best seventh each time out.  My little 11-horespower machine is holding its own and turning out to be a great starter mower, but next year I have bigger plans with a larger and more powerful John Deere machine ready for the Pluffybilt treatment.  My plan for the current #51 is to rotate through a few drivers in 2008….maybe even a few familiar names from here and there if they are brave enough to trade a Super Late Model or Modified for something a bit smaller!

Back to this Friday night.  The PASS drivers and the Modifieds will race starting at 7pm and the night will conclude with a 75-lap feature for the Stock division.  That is where there’s a championship battle going on too.  Only 15 points separate the top two racers in the standings.  That is only three finishing positions in the race.  Currently, Bruce Plouffe leads Steve Perry with only one race left.
You couldn’t imagine two more different styles of racing that were used to get to this point in the title fight.  Plouffe is known for his smooth and consistent style of finishing well each week, while Steve Perry is famous for hanging off his seat and putting on a show while coming up through the pack – sometimes more than once in a race.

Admission to the races is only $3 with a pit pass costing $5.  For more information, please visit

The crew  (top photo, left to right - Mike Twist, Bob Dillner, Matt Kentfield and Matt Dillner) got to play around with tractors lately - just as several PASS North drivers will on Friday night.  Of course, we couldn't just play either - a little bit of racing broke out  (Bottom - 51 Photos)