Mike Ratel’s got a trailer for “On Your Mark, Get Set, Mow!

But without some more funds, the rest of his lawnmower racing movie will end up on the cutting room floor.

Ratel, who lives on Upshur Street NW in Petworth, alleges that a project that has roots in trying to let the world know about a subculture where frustrated Dale Jr.’s tweak their ride-ons until they can cut the grass at 50 MPH has grown into something deeper. He wants to tell the story of the Mikulas of Sparta, Mich., who, along with being the First Family of lawnmower racing in their region, are also big-time fundraisers for Huntington’s Disease, a degenerative illness that has killed five members of the clan.

Ratel’s been shooting lawnmower racing events all over the U.S. on his own dime since March 2008. He’s been unemployed for several months now, and will depend on the kindness of others to finish the job. If he gets some cash, Ratel will go back to Sparta in a few weeks to film the Mikulas annual lawnmower race/Huntington’s disease fundraiser at Sparta’s Town and Country Fair.

Ratel’s set up a web site for donations. As righteous as blowing the lid off lawnmower racing is, Ratel reminds anybody thinking about giving him a buck: “Contributions are not tax deductible.”