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PINEWOOD DERBY MEMORY
The Secret to Winning?


My step-son is in Royal Rangers, and we built a car for their derby race.
Instead of axle slots cut in the wood block, Royal Ranger cars are equipped
with two, 3/8 inch dowel rods that are placed in slots on the bottom of the
car. The wheels are then attached to the ends of the dowels with screw-type
axles.

The night before the race I was making final wheel adjustments. I was
having some problems getting the wheels aligned so I lost a lot of the
graphite that had been put on the axles. On race day I added some graphite
before check-in and was spinning the wheels to get it worked in. I slapped
the wheel too hard, knocking the car out of my hands and onto the ground!!

Our worst fear ... I cracked the front dowel. Luckily the crack was by the
wheel that we purposely lifted off the ground. We had to realign the car,
and we got it as close as possible. We were expecting that this was going to
kill us on the track.

But surprisingly, the car performed great, winning the age division race
and then taking second in the finals.

We consider ourselves very fortunate that the car performed well. After the
race our Pastor joked that dropping the car was the secret. Maybe we'll have
to drop next year's car as well!?

Patrick Mulligan
Sylvania, Ohio

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 2, Issue 3

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