New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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MT Pockets
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New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by MT Pockets » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:36 pm

Greetings all,
I've been fortunate enough to have taken over as our race chairman this year due to a dad aging out with his son. I love PWD and I'm excite for this years race. I'm also fortunate enough to be able to purchase our own trak and timer this year instead of borrowing. The one question that I can't seem to settle my mind on is what length track to purchase.

32, 40, or 48' aluminum Freedom series track from Microwizard. What is the opinion of the experts as to why one would choose one size over the other?

Thanks!



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by dna1990 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:02 pm

Everyone will have an opinion, but I would go for 40. The aluminum tracks can hold some speed, and I think the longer flat of a 40' helps reward (differentiate) those who polished abit more on the axle, better alignment, etc.

48' just adds weight and cost, and more chance of a DNF.



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by Darin McGrew » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:04 pm

How big is the room where you'll be using the track? Taking into account everything else that will be set up in the room (seating, impound tables, projectors and screens, etc., etc., etc.), how long a track can the room accommodate?



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by psycaz » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:09 pm

I'll combine the two previous posts - get the longest track that fits up to the 40'.

The 40' +/- seems to be what most folks go for if they have room. It should seperate the cars enough to not cause too many ties.



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by gpraceman » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:15 pm

Save yourself some money and don't get a 48 footer. The longer the track, the more cars that will not finish at all. I've run a 40 ft track for many races and at times that can seem a bit long for some cars, but that depends on how well the check-in crew did its job to make sure that cars were lubed and up to a reasonable weight. A 32 ft aluminum track can have the faster cars go off the stop section.

Another consideration is that the shorter the track, the closer the races can be. That isn't a bad thing, unless you are eyeball judging. :O


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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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MT Pockets
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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by MT Pockets » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:42 pm

Thanks everyone for the quick replies!

My man sense tell me to get the biggest track possible (cue Tim "the tool man" Taylor grunt), but based on your excellent advise my common sense tells me to go with the 40' for the reasons mentioned above. We have a large hall with plenty of room. Thanks oh wise ones of PWD. I will probably be asking plenty of derby running questions in the future1

mt



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:01 pm

MT Pockets wrote:My man sense tell me to get the biggest track possible...
:thinking: You could satisfy your man sense by getting the biggest track possible - and then leave out an 8' section if that happens to work out better for your Pack's situation. ;)



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by dna1990 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:40 am

True FS, that if money is no object, get another section - it could be used for perhaps special events or maybe your pack will like the longer distance, but it does not have to be used each time. But leave plenty of room in the budget for a good storage box, a good timer, maybe a start button for the kids, maybe a light tree, and new video projector, new scales. Lots of other toys that can elevate your PWD event further.

If you go this route, do the initial assembly and pin alignment type work with the whole 48 while it is new.



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by FatSebastian » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:58 am

dna1990 wrote:True FS, that if money is no object, get another section...
Because extra length was on MT's option list, it seemed to be within the available budget. I agree that there are a lot of other (perhaps more useful) goodies that might be had with the extra money spent; at the same time, if one's "man sense" becomes irresistible, it is probably cheapest and most convenient to get any extra sections when the rest of the track is purchased...



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by MT Pockets » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:28 pm

While a 48' track was in the budget and would fit in the room, We decided to go with the 40' Freedom series aluminum track for all the above reasons. We felt that to be a good middle road choice. We also ordered a new Micro wizard timer and GPRM software. Thanks for everyone's awesome and quick advise! Now we wait... The big brown truck should be dropping it in about 2 weeks, just in time for our race in March!

MT Pockets



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:52 pm

Good choices, MTer!


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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:35 pm

MT Pockets wrote:While a 48' track was in the budget and would fit in the room, We decided to go with the 40' Freedom series aluminum track for all the above reasons. We felt that to be a good middle road choice.
Anodized or un-anodized? If you went un-anodized, I would recommend that you apply some of your savings on track length to get the anodized coating. The track that I use for several Awana races a year is several years old now and it looks nearly new (once it gets a good wipe down to get off the graphite accumulation).


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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by MT Pockets » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:46 am

Thanks Stan..

Unfortunately we've already placed the order. We bought some of the upgrade timer options and also a hard plastic carrying carrying case for the timer. Hopefully not getting the anodized won't bite us in the posterior region. With that said....Does anyone have any tips for taking care of and maintaining the non anodized track?

We are planning to build the storage box from the plans that are supplied on their website. I may start on that now so that when the track arrives, it will have a home.

MT Pockets



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Re: New track purchase - HELP - Which length to purchase

Post by gpraceman » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 am

MT Pockets wrote:Unfortunately we've already placed the order. We bought some of the upgrade timer options and also a hard plastic carrying carrying case for the timer. Hopefully not getting the anodized won't bite us in the posterior region.
If it hasn't shipped, it may not be too late to make that change. Our pack has the un-anodized track and it definitely shows a lot more wear and tear than the anodized track that I run races with.
MT Pockets wrote:We are planning to build the storage box from the plans that are supplied on their website. I may start on that now so that when the track arrives, it will have a home.
I definitely recommend the storage crate. Add about 1/4" to 1/2" to the crate width, to make it easier to get the sections in and out.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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