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Building Connections Through Drag Racing: Jonathan Holland’s Legacy and SCAG Power Equipment

Drag racing can form friendships between people when it’s least expected. Jonathan Holland and his family were connected to the sport through his SCAG lawn mower. Well, it was actually his mom’s mower that his dad, Nathan, purchased for her as an anniversary present.

“Nathan bought me a SCAG mower for our 17th wedding anniversary, and when Jonathan turned 16, he said I want to do a side job and asked can I borrow your lawnmower,” reminisces Karen Holland, Jonathan’s mom. 

That’s how Fat Boy Lawn Care was born – a landscaping company that Jonathan started on his own.

“My husband works for Competition Trailers in Henderson, [Texas], and he goes to a lot of the drag race events in Dallas,” explains Karen. “We usually get tickets because he works with Billy and Steve Torrence. I usually go with him, but that year, I told him to take Jonathan, and I’ll stay home with Grayson, our youngest son because he didn’t want to go.”

Nathan went on the first day to the races and met Randy Gloede, president and CEO of Metalcraft of Mayville, the parent company of SCAG, and Maria K. Oldenburg, VP of OEM Engineering, and started telling them about Jonathan and his love for the brand. He even explained that they went as far as to send them a graduation invitation because Jonathan’s senior photos were with the lawn mower.

Randy was impressed with Jonathan and his young entrepreneurial spirit but admitted that he didn’t get the graduation invitation. Maria asked Karen to send over any photos of Jonathan with the lawn mower, which also included a poster asking his girlfriend to homecoming, which was, of course, with the cat’s eye gold machine.

The next day, when Jonathan accompanied his dad to the FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, Randy gave him the experience of a lifetime. 

“I signed all the documents for him to go on the starting line, and then I had my husband record him telling him, hey, you’re going to be on the starting line with the SCAG cars, and he was so excited,” says Karen.

That was two weeks before Jonathan tragically lost his life in a car accident with the neighbor’s daughter in Rusk County, Texas. Jonathan was only 18 years old. 

“He got to experience the race with SCAG, and Maria and Randy were so impressed with him,” she continues. “They introduced him to other people, and then they sent him a swag box that had a bunch of SCAG T-shirts and hats and all kinds of stuff in it. He got that on October 31st, and then he died on November 1st.”

Now a scholarship is being set up in Jonathan’s name, and has already awarded three $1,000 scholarships to students during the Rusk County Youth Project Show.

As for Fat Boy Lawn Care, Jonathan’s cousin is carrying on the business, and his nephews have also volunteered to help. Ultimately, Jonathan’s plans were to leave Fat Boy Lawn Care to his younger brother, Grayson. 

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“Jonathan chose the color bright orange because when he mowed, he knew that that would stick out and people wouldn’t hit him,” explains Karen. “He ran Fat Boy Lawn Care with my mower, and then he made enough money, and he bought another mower, and he made more money and asked me during his senior year to call him out of school to get a loan to buy another. He would only buy SCAG mowers. He had also just bought a dump trailer before he passed.”

Even though Jonathan’s passing has been difficult, his family is confident that his legacy will continue to resonate within the community.

“We want people to remember Jonathan as a hard worker, doing things for others without being asked and being a good person.”  

For more information on the Fat Boy Foundation and to donate, visit Fat Boy Foundation Jonathan Holland on Venmo, check out Facebook.com/FatBoyFoundation or email [email protected]. Amelia White can also be contacted at [email protected]

This story was originally published on March 13, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.