Help Cars Finish!

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:36 pm
Location: Eyota, Minnesota

Re: Help Cars Finish!

Post by ngyoung » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:53 pm

That is one thing I still really regret not doing for one weblos 2 boy at our pack derby. His car never finished and i wish i would have caught it sooner and stepped in.

Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:20 am
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: Help Cars Finish!

Post by thekob » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:04 am

We had a kid who had those lead tube weights stuck to the bottom of the car without hollowing it out first. Fortunately he did a test run and we noticed he didn't finish. Another volunteer thought it was due to having one of his front wheels off the track, but I had experienced the same thing as a scount (and had browsed this forum) so we figured out the issue quickly enough. I recommended that he take the two tube weights off the bottom and hot glue them to the back (it was a car with a side profile of a firebird or something). He wound up placing among the Webelos dens, I believe second. It's amazing what taking a dragging weight from the bottom and putting it on the very back of the car does!

At check in we (it was my first year so I didn't get involved with the planning, I just showed up) just checked for weight, and that's it. It seems like it'd be easy to have two blocks of wood to check and ensure there's enough 1) height clearance and 2) width clearance between the wheels at check in, so that'll be one of my projects for next year, along with some sort of car containment system (just putting them in boxes all rolling around made me wince). We also let kids take their cars out after they checked them in and didn't re-weigh them....I mean, I hope all our scouts are trustworthy, but man, if one had the inclination they could've slapped a ton of tungsten putty on the bottom and no one would be the wiser.

User avatar
Darin McGrew
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1797
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:23 pm
Location: Mountain View, CA

Re: Help Cars Finish!

Post by Darin McGrew » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:55 am

When we built a new track, we kept a section of the old track specifically to check the cars on registration night. We set it up on a table with one end slightly raised, and encourage the kids to make sure their car will roll down that test section of track before they check them in.

But the change that made a huge difference in the number of cars that didn't finish was when we started providing drill presses at our workshops, so the kids could press straight axle holes before cutting the block. That makes it easier to insert the axles when the car is done, but most importantly, it gives all cars decent alignment. (Perfect alignment still takes work, but decent alignment is now the default.)

Post Reply