Inside Line Promotions – MADISONVILLE, Texas (March 11, 2021) – Austin Zimmerman overcame mechanical woes to reach Victory Lane during his first Lone Star Mower Racing Association race behind the wheel of his new mower.
The SawBlade.com sponsored competitor outlasted the competition and an ill engine to win the FXS main event on Saturday at Crossroads Cowboy Church.
“This year we decided to go bigger and better,” he said. “We moved into the faster and more competitive FXS class. This required us to build a completely new chassis from the ground up. I wound up using only the wheels, tires and spindles from the original build. I went with a larger engine this go-around from a Briggs 28 cubic inch to a Briggs 33 cubic inch. With a little machine work and a few aftermarket billet parts we milked as much power as we could out of the respective 540cc Briggs and Stratton engine from 19hp factory to a whopping 50hp. With this wild new engine and a completely resigned chassis I came into this season with confidence.
“The track consisted of a roping arena making for short straightaways and wide corners. The dirt was pretty soft and stayed loose during the entirety of the event. Seeing as it would be the first real shake down for the mower I was a bit nervous to turn it loose right off the bat. Hot laps came around and the mower proved to be a beast. I had it set up too loose. The corners were slick and the mower would throw a rooster tail down the straightaway. in all I was very pleased with the mower. I drew a good number that would set me up on the pole for the heat race.”
Zimmerman led most of the heat race before a late-race scare cost him the win.
“I let some air out of the tires, tightened it up and got ready,” he said. “When the green flag dropped I stayed out front for the majority of the race. The track became enormously rutty and it turned into an obstacle course rather than a race track. On the final lap I entered turn three nicely, but as I exited my right rear slapped a rut, tossing me and the mower into the air. As the mower hopped the motor burped and that broke the tires loose sending me into the infield. Frankie Gill capitalized on the opportunity and drove around me at the last second to take the heat race win.”
The bigger obstacle came once Zimmerman arrived in his pit to prepare for the main event.
“After the race we found we had some major issues,” he said. “The mower and my feet were covered in oil. Come to find out we had lost a starter bolt causing oil to pump out of the stripped hole. We managed to plug the hole and get the mower ready for the feature. When we cranked up for the feature an enormous amount of burnt oil smoke poured out of the exhaust. My father and I stood and pondered at the sight for a second and then decided to just send it. When the feature race flag dropped I jumped into the lead. I fought hard to maintain the position as I could tell the engine was giving up. We were able to pull it off though and gain our first win on the new mower.
“When we got home I pulled the motor apart to find a nice and crispy blown head gasket. The little 12:1 compression engine had managed to burn through a .035 thick solid copper head gasket. This would explain the oiling issue. It’s an easy fix and we will be ready for the next race as the SawBlade.com team is looking forward to an exciting year of racing.”
Zimmerman returns to action on March 27 at Gun Barrel City Park in Gun Barrel City, Texas, with the Lone Star Mower Racing Association.
AUSTIN ZIMMERMAN 2021 STATS –
1 race, 1 win, 1 top five, 1 top 10, 1 top 15, 1 top 20
UP NEXT –
March 27 at Gun Barrel City Park in Gun Barrel City, Texas, with the Lone Star Mower Racing Association