Inspections

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Hurly64
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Inspections

Post by Hurly64 » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:23 pm

I've been to 4 derbies so far. In only one race that I have been to have the cars been inspected for dimension. It seems the tendency is to inspect for weight only. Is this normal? I saw several cars at our pack's last Derby race that had protruding "mufflers" and whatnot, and i'm not convinced that all Dads & sons realize that when they want to add on stuff to the back, the total car length must still be at or within 7". In a close race, that could be an unfair advantage to allow a longer car.
My son raced against a car like this last night in a tie situation, and they ran one dead-even heat after the race with two Microwizard lightbulbs to prove it. (See other post) I'm not sure if the other car was over 7", but the block did not appear to be cut short to compensate for the mufflers. And I know the inspection process was not enforcing the dimensions. There is no point in pursuing it, the race is over, everyone had fun and its only a pinewood derby for crying out loud. I'm only posting this for the benefit of those who inspect and organize the races. You never know if a race will be close, and you never know how parents will react if they see an illegal car competing. I didn't even realize the potential infraction until after the race was over. I didn't have a ruler, and I'm certainly not going to break one out when casually asking a mother to see her son's winning Derby car!

Fortunately, I had fun, my son had fun, and he has no idea that he got 2nd place to a car that may have inadvertently "stretched" the rules.



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Stan Pope
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Re: Inspections

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:17 am

Arghhh! Oh, well... most races that I've attended used a size gage box to verify compliance with length, width, and, sometimes, height rules. They are pretty easy to build (although I leave an extra 0.01" or so.)

In your case, if the wheels must be attached in the slots and the slots must not be moved, then the extra tailpipe or muffler or jet nozzle hanging on the back wouldn't help him.

On the other hand, if the rules allowed the wheels to be repositioned in the block and if extending the back of the car allowed 'em to move the wheels (and the CM) back farther then it would matter in performance, and you would be rightfully concerned.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

Hurly64
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Re: Inspections

Post by Hurly64 » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:36 pm

Yes, there was an inspection box there, but it wasn't being used.
My son's CG is about 1-1/4" from the rear axle, w/ wheel base extended as far as allowed. Wolf's used the stock slots, and as far as I could tell, his CG was actually lower. Im no physicist, so its hard to say what a 1/4" lower CG(on the vertical height) would have done to his speed, had he been asked to shave off his front end by 1/2" at inspection. I believe the canted axles on Wolf's car made up for his lower CG as far as the results went.

As long as your listening, Stan, you'd be proud. The boys were allowed to stage their own cars, so I passed along your advice to my boy. He was the only one staging his car carefully. In fact, he was taking so long to make sure the wheels were in the center of the axles, he was holding up the races! Everyone was :lol: , but it paid off!



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Stan Pope
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Re: Inspections

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:26 pm

Kewl!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

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