New track build - 1st timer

TheHeadhunter Wednesday, 6/14/2023

I have recently learned about diecast racing and track building.  I am going to jump in and build a track.  I am hoping to do this with my daughter as a summer project.  Better than her sitting on her iPad all day.  Although that will be handy for research and track building reference!  

We are in NC, so the track will have a western North Carolina influence with the mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, etc.  I will be the builder and my daughter is going to handle the artistic side.  If I were to do that, it would probably look like an infant's finger painting project.  LOL

Big shout out to Mark at Gravity Throttle Racing.  He has kindly answered all my questions.  His channel was actually the first one I saw and I loved the rally style track using various materials instead of the pre-made tracks.   That is the style of track that I am going for.  4 lanes of HW track to start but then moving in to 4 custom lanes and eventually down to one larger lane of custom made track.

The track I am hoping to build will probably come in around 30 feet when it's all done.  I am not an expert in video and editing but hopefully I can get some videos going once the track is built.  That might be another area for my daughter to help with.  Kids seem to always be better with electronics/software than their parents.  :-P

The only place I had to build was the big storage room in my attic.  It is unfinished but we did do spray foam insulation so extreme temperatures are not an issue.  Another plus to building my track up there is it inspired us to get rid of a bunch of stuff that we no longer need! 

I attached a pic of my area.  The track will run along the wall towards the camera.  It will do a 180 and go back towards that corner in the pic.  There is actually more space now from when I took the pic so those bins are out of the way.   I will do another turn down near that corner and come back towards the camera to the finish of the track.


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dr_dodge 6/14/23

Welcome to the community, & good luck on your build! 

I am working on my "Jamestown Bypass" and finding out how to do the video stuff, too
I found this place (redlinederby) around Oct. last year and have learned a lot searching the archives.
Tons of good stuff there!

everyone here is helpful and they really make you feel welcome here


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redlinederby 6/14/23
Site manager

Indeed, welcome to party! I know we're all excited to follow your track building journey so don't be stingy in sharing updates and photos as you go. Have fun!

Check out the Track Building collection of topics for some more ideas and such. The Forum has many year's worth of discussion.

Thanks!  Here is the first update:

I got 4 supports in for the top row of the track.  The starting gate will be on the support to the right.  I originally had the supports higher up but it seemed too high.  Plus with only 30 feet or so of track, it was going to finish almost 4 feet off the ground.  Seemed a bit too high.  I lowered the supports down 18 inches and it looks much better,

In pic 2, the 3rd support is in.  With the window there, I had to secure it to the floor and then under the window to the center joist.  It is pretty solid and with plywood screwed down to the top for the track bed, it should be nice and secure.

In pic 3, you can see the final support where the 180 degree turn will be to head back towards the starting gate.  I built it over the air duct and will try to keep that open in case any work ever needed to be done on that.

Update time!

The track bed is down for the top section of the track, using 1/2" plywood.  I bought two pieces of 2' x 4' as those measurements were almost exact fits for the supports I built. I also wanted one 4' x 8' sheet of plywood.  That wouldn't fit in my vehicle so I had them rip it in half.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that would lead to a little more work for me on the track but I think it worked out in the end.

The overall look so far.  After I finished with the top layer, I got a couple of tracks out to begin the testing phase!  Also, the terrible purple curtains are down.  I will put up something over the windows so it can be incorporated into the background scenery.

This is going to be the start area.  Testing will determine the height for the start gate and any elevation changes through the top part of the track

This pic shows where I trimmed the plywood to make it slightly narrower in this section.  This will create more room for the track after it does the 180 degree turn and heads back towards the start

So this is where the "problem" came in with cutting down the 4' x 8' plywood.  The distance between support #3 and #4 is 3 feet.  I wanted to cover that distance plus include the turntable for the 180 degree turn all in one piece of plywood to keep it sturdier.  But I wanted that turntable to be a half circle with an 18 inch radius since that is half the distance of the 4th support.  That 4th support comes out 3 feet from the wall.  Well three feet plus 18 inches put me over the 4 feet square that the plywood was cut down to!

In this final pic, you can see what I did to remedy that.  I made one piece three feet long by 18 inches wide so that I could screw down each end to the support.  Then I made the half circle of 18 inches.  I could attach that to the 4th support but I figured I would need an additional support.  I couldn't put it technically right in the center because of the air return duct so it is offset a little bit.  It is screwed down in to the floor as well as the other support piece, making it really solid. 

Overall, I am pretty happy with how it has turned out so far.  There are a few little gaps where the sections connect but I think I can easily fill in those spaces.  I put some track down the length of it and ran some cars on it.  The little gaps or slightly uneven meeting of the boards really had no effect on the cars.

I bought a sheet of Polywall at Home Depot to use as the track surface.  I will start cutting that to size and laying that down once I have determined any elevation changes I want to add to the track.  I may add a couple of bumps in the run to create some interest instead of just a flat straight run of track.

Another update after working on the track this weekend.  I have started a youtube channel to create video updates of the track build and hopefully, I will eventually film the races after the track is complete.  The name of the channel is Carolina Gravity Racing. The channel is still a bit bare bones as I need to get a logo together and learn some editing for the videos.  One thing at a time!  lol

On to the progress update!:  

I bought a 3" thick foam sheet from Home Depot and made a couple of bumps.  This is the first one and it will go under the orange track as you will see in the second pic.  The second bump will go under the polywall, just past the first one.  On the first bump, I am going to dig into it a little bit so the track settles down in to it, making almost a track bed.

In this pic, I am marking out the lines to cut polywall strips to use as lane dividers after the orange track completes.  I am only going to use the four lanes of orange track for about 4 feet or so.  I cut the polywall with a utility knife and that worked great.

This is the 180 degree turn.  I cut out a semi circle leaving the right and back side higher to create a bit of a bank.  I will be gluing the foam piece down tonight to the plywood.  The foam was a bit of a pain to cut and isn't perfectly smooth but thankfully the polywall is just rigid enough to hide the imperfections of the foam cuts.

I didn't get a picture but I added another support in after the big turn.  I talk about and show it in my latest video that I just uploaded earlier tonight.

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johnson9195 6/22/23

Great progress so far. Thank you for sharing your progress.

A bit of an update, that does not really have much updating in it.  lol   At the moment I am in a holding pattern waiting for a couple of orders.  I am checking on the progress of my starting gate/finish line order as we speak.  Since my last update, I saw a 4-lane 180 degree turn on Races and Fun's channel.  That is exactly what I needed.  I inquired and found out that it was made by Slanman Customs.  I got in contact with him and placed my order.   The turn will not only save me space for scenery on my turn area, but it will also save me the difficulty of trying to create it myself.

So while I have been waiting for my orders to ship, I have been testing a jump I want to incorporate.  Also been saving reference pictures for scenery and such.  Hopefully in the next week or so, I will have an update with a bit more substance!

It's been a while since I posted an update.  I am basically done with my track layout itself.  Next up is for the art team to come in and start working on the scenery.  I posted a video of my progress so far:

  • link not working... — FredD
  • Thanks for the heads up. Updated the link. — TheHeadhunter
  • That one works... Where in NC are you? I am in Ashe County... — FredD
  • I am near Durham. We just recently bought some property out near Boone. Hoping to build a house to retire out there in the future. We really love the NC mountains. — TheHeadhunter
  • very nice, boy love that curve! — dr_dodge
  • We lived in Hillsborough and Rougemont! We moved up to West Jefferson full time a few years back! — FredD
  • I am very familiar with Hillsborough. :-) — TheHeadhunter
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compay59 9/23/23

Greetings from Italy and congratulations for your track... I'm also thinking of building a track and for now I have purchased four packs of Adventure Force Crash Racers Figure 8 Circuit directly from the States (they should arrive in mid-October). I would like to ask you this: in the previous videos the tracks were the classic orange Hot Wheels, but in this video they are grey... did you paint them or is it a different product? Could you tell me the type of paint you used or the brand of gray tracks? Thanks in advance for the reply... I will continue to follow the videos of your construction to "steal" valuable suggestions" :D

  • Thanks! I painted the orange tracks using Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint and Primer. Color is Charcoal Grey. I then followed that with the same brand of Clear Coat. — TheHeadhunter

Looks great bro'! Can't wait to race there! NC has a rich racing history! Good job! I'm excited for you your girl and the first race!!

A test run video of a car on the track.  I will have to do another video with 4 cars on the track.  That's when the real mayhem begins!

  • Cool, that 1st jump will be the great equalizer! — G_ForceRacing
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