More lessons learned at race number five...

Jobe Tuesday, 9/21/2010

I was excited about this race with my new finish line and catch box. It was overcast then started raining about an hour before the race...By 8.30 it has stopped and my usual spot under the giant Oak was pretty dry. Set up the track and practice started with no problems. Ran my 16 car buy-in race first which had some very very close races, but problems with the finish gate. Seems some of the cars were hitting the center support and getting ejected from the track. So out with the gate and back to eyeballing the winners. I was bummed since I had been looking for that gate for so long and it worked fine at home...

Then the magnet on my start gate went flying off at one point, not a big deal but still...never found it.

So we ran the 16 car buy-in with a 2010 issue 1967 Camaro taking the cake. Race had some really close match ups which were fun.

Stock ran next with a full 16 car bracket. The winner, slaying all the competition, was a 1970 Evil Weevil! Never seen one of's a VW bug with a V8 in front and back...very cool original car my friend Shawn brought out for his first race.

Modified class was last with 8 cars. The catch box bubble wrap was pretty toast by then and took down 2 cars. When the cars hit the end of the box they blew apart! All that added weight was making some of the cars haul down the track.
I also took the 8" tall kicker out of my drop so the track was definitely faster than usual. My friend Marc took the win with his modified Super Van.

So things I learned. What works at home is not necessarily going to work out in the field. I need stronger glue for my magnet on the start gate. I need to modify my finish line. I need high density foam to stop the cars in the box...or maybe have the cars launch into a box of packing peanuts?

Question to you all...after a car wins twice should it be retired? Modified class has been won twice now by Marc's modified Super Van...should I ask him not to run it anymore?

Thanks...back to work! (I'll add some photos this evening)



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redlinederby 9/21/10
Site manager

I've also had the occasional crash with that V-Drop finish line. I found it was because of the track walls on the piece that connects directly to the blue finish line. The walls were bent a little bit and any car that rode the rails was being directed into the center post - especially if it was a wide car. So my solution was to cut some of the track wall off just before it got to the finish line. You still need some wall so they don't crash into the outside posts.

I think it's fair to have retirement rules for tournaments and races. Nobody wants to keep losing to the same bugger each week, and frankly, if I was the person that had the retiring car, that would make me proud knowing my car had to be retired because it was so dominate. Since your races are monthly(?) I think your retirement criteria would have be somewhat high, like 4 tournament wins or something....and of course, then you need a Hall of Fame

Good to hear your live tournaments are still going strong, even with a few bumps in the road.

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markkaz 10/4/10

Developing a catch box is tricky. People are sensitive about their cars
getting dinged up. It is not an easy thing to build. As for the finish line
failing, two people can eyeball it no problem - Get'er done! Lost magnet
on the start gate too? What a rough day! I feel for you!

For my activity parties, I don't even use a catch box anymore. the kids
wouldn't clear the track after the race and the racers would just pile up
in the catchbox. Now, there is a little jump at the end of the track and
the cars fly into a tray It is so much nicer and the kids like the jump!

As for having a track set up at home working perfectly and then not
working so well in the field, I definitely understand the dilemma! Especially
with limited funds.

As for high density foam, I have always wanted to try memory foam. It doesn't
shred. With any foam products, you don't want anything to flake off and get
into the wheels/axles. You need an absorbent foam, not a bouncy foam.

I am a big proponent of retiring cars if you want people to keep coming back.
Maybe you can make up a certificate to give to the owner to give them
something to keep their racer at home. This gives them a sense of accomplishment
and would diminish any bad feelings.

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redlinederby 10/4/10
Site manager

My catch box is just a tupperware basket that I cut one side open and then use a t-shirt or towel. It absorbs most of the energy so there's no sudden stop, per se. It looks crude but does the trick considering I'm only running 2 cars at a time. I haven't had any injuries due to the basket. My dogs are much more of a worry

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Jobe 10/4/10

Yeah, I have to scrap my catch box and come up with something else. Mainly I want to keep the cars from hitting each other or running into the gravel or dirt where I set up at the bar. I thought about a jump into a foam pit of some sort, or box full of packing peanuts.

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