Racers stopped in Muscle Shoals - for driving too slow

Racers stopped in Muscle Shoals - for driving too slow
Wealthy Guan (left) and Karima Spates wait for some help after being stopped by law enforcement for riding their mower too slowly on the highway in Muscle Shoals (Source: Dan Busey - Times Daily)

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WAFF) - A group of racers was pulled over in Muscle Shoals this week. Police say the problem wasn’t their need for speed... it was that they needed more speed!

Two members of “The Great Grass Race" made their way through northwest Alabama this week on their way to Florida. What is “The Great Grass Race"? Think “The Amazing Race” by way of “The Straight Story”. Five teams of two drivers are racing their lawnmowers from Los Angeles to Tampa, Florida. It’s all part of an online reality show with a big payday at the end for whoever finishes first. They started July 9th. The whole thing is being filmed and is already airing online.

According to our news partners at the Times Daily, one of those teams, Karima Spates and Wealthy Guan, had to take a penalty in Muscle Shoals after officers said they couldn’t drive their mowers on the highway. By league rules, any police pull-over results in needing to be towed and a points deduction.

Spates and Guan had plenty of folks come up to see what all the fuss was about when they rolled to a stop at the Days Inn in Muscle Shoals. This is actually ideal, since the rules state the lawnmower riders can’t bring along any money. They must rely on the kindness of strangers all the way across the U.S. “The reason we’re doing the show is to show the generosity of people,” Spates said. “It’s the people, the good people all over the United States, who are making this possible.”

The duo says they’ve had a lot of memorable moments - two days going past cornfields in Kansas, 112 degree head in Arizona, and a wreck doing downhill in New Mexico. “We have so many stories from a lot of places,” Spates said Wednesday in Muscle Shoals. “People are so friendly and really supportive.”

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