Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

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korey99
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Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by korey99 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:33 pm

Hello all-

I've had a few people recommend we try a turtle race in our pack pinewood derby this year. I think it's an interesting idea, and we'd announce it well ahead of time, so people can build specifically for it. Some parents like the idea, as winning a turtle trophy doesn't mean you feel pressured to go to the district race.

So, we've got 6-12 kids in each rank, and I'm planning to run a perfect-N style race, using points for standings (sorry, I've talked about this in another recent thread). We award trophies to the top 4 finishers in each rank, and hold a pack-level race that the top 4 in each rank advance to.

My questions to those who have run this type of race:
1. Who competes in the turtle race? Everyone?
2. Is it done during the regular heats?
3. Do you award trophies per den, or only to the pack-level champ?

Any advice or experience is appreciated!

Korey



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gpraceman
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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by gpraceman » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:28 am

I've only heard of a few doing a separate turtle race. Most just make it part of the regular speed event. Some require that racers must cross the finish, others don't.

You certainly could make it a separate race, if you want, for those that opt to compete. That would make it a more interesting race.

If its part of your regular race, then it's up to you and your budget if you want to award a turtle for each race group or just the overall.


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FatSebastian
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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:52 pm

gpraceman wrote:Most just make it part of the regular speed event.
If it was a separate race, I wonder if the "regular speed event" could somehow serve as the qualifier, i.e., go slow enough (however measured) and you qualify for competing in the turtle race. That way, slow cars see more racing.



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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by korey99 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:08 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
gpraceman wrote:Most just make it part of the regular speed event.
If it was a separate race, I wonder if the "regular speed event" could somehow serve as the qualifier, i.e., go slow enough (however measured) and you qualify for competing in the turtle race. That way, slow cars see more racing.
We did double elimination last year, and we did random "fun runs" from cars that were eliminated, just to keep them in the game. The way I'm seeing it now, after the tiger heats are run (using perfect-n), most of them are done for the day (anyone who didn't make the finals). Holding a brief turtle finals would keep more kids engaged longer. Perhaps anyone who doesn't advance to the pack finals could participate in the turtle finals.



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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:09 pm

We haven't actually included a "best mileage" award in our derbies yet, but we've discussed it. Our plan was to follow our normal points-based system, but to include an award for the car with the most points (worst finishes, slowest), in addition to the cars with the fewest points (best finishes, fastest).

We were planning to require that cars cross the finish line. We would enforce that simply by disqualifying any car that failed to cross the finish line. So the "best mileage" award would be the car with the most points that had not been disqualified by a DNF.



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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by korey99 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:25 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:We haven't actually included a "best mileage" award in our derbies yet, but we've discussed it. Our plan was to follow our normal points-based system, but to include an award for the car with the most points (worst finishes, slowest), in addition to the cars with the fewest points (best finishes, fastest).

We were planning to require that cars cross the finish line. We would enforce that simply by disqualifying any car that failed to cross the finish line. So the "best mileage" award would be the car with the most points that had not been disqualified by a DNF.

Darin- but is comparing points between ranks fair? Or do you mean to determine a den-level trophy?



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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:39 pm

korey99 wrote:Darin- but is comparing points between ranks fair? Or do you mean to determine a den-level trophy?
We don't compare points between groups that don't race against each other. If you race the cars in a den against each other, then the "gas mileage" award is a den-level trophy. If you race the cars in a rank against each other, then the "gas mileage" award is a rank-level trophy. If you race the cars in a pack against each other, then the "gas mileage" award is a pack-level trophy.



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Re: Ideas for implementing Turtle (or gas mileage) race

Post by Nitro Dan » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:52 pm

The Girl Scout group my daughters are in have an "Economy Car" award for the slowest vehicle in their official races, but the Cub Scout group my son was with does it as separate race at their districtr races. In this event, racers build a separate car to compete with. The race is open to everyone and it is held on a smaller separate track while the official district racing is going on. They award a first, second, and third place trophy for this event, but rather than call it a turtle race, they refer to it as an Einstein Race, due to the rules saying the car has to be the last to actually cross the finish line (stopping short of the finish line loses for that heat). Designing a car to go just slow enough to cross the finish line makes building a fast car look easy. I tend to like this method of turtle racing much better and see a lot of son/father teams who invent some really interesting looking vehicles that are designed to go slow. My son won 1st place this event the first year he competed because of a technicallity in the rules. He designed a "U" shaped car with the middle cut out (and one wheel tight against the car body) that would not break the finish line sensors until the back of the car crossed the finish line. He had a slow car, but there was a car that was slower if the finish line sensors were being broke by the front of each car. His six inch advantage allowed him to win that year, which prompted a rule change the following year that the front of the cars must break the finish line sensors. This past uear's winner simply used a vertical index card mounted to a wood slab, which provided enough air resistance to slow the car down considerably.

-Nitro Dan


Take good and make it great. Take fast and make it faster. Performance drives success!

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