Mid America Pinewood Derby

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
User avatar
xanthrum
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:05 am
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by xanthrum » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:18 am

If we are to add a specail adult class - I would like to add a class that Fat Sebastian and Stan Pope - will build and race in - both of those two have put in so much time in helping everyone in this forum - it would be fun to get them out and racing.

Also I really love Max V and all the products that Randy does an excellent job in testing, marketing, and promoting... I would however like to build a closer relationship with him if we are going to create a division that is utilizing only his products.

Truly
Greg


Greg Dawes
Mid-America Pinewood Derby
http://www.midamericaderby.com

User avatar
xanthrum
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:05 am
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by xanthrum » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:46 am

One more important note... as many of you are involved directly on indirectly with Cub Scout programs... the primary and main focus of the Mid America Pinewood Derby will always be about the Scouts. We currently have two scout divisions - the open division is a highly competitive division and encompasses a very liberal interpetation of the rules... maybe the first step would be to have a Scout Division that has a bit more restrictive rules... my only concern is the tech in process, and trying to avoid tearing down cars after the race... as there is already a monsterous amount of work that has to be done with tear down... posting of results... running of reports, posting pictures, and this year editing of race video.

We have some awesome new things planned for 2014 - including getting a new 4 lane best track that we will be running the kids and the adult cars on. We will be racing the scouts on the 6 lane best track and the pros on the 3 lane best track. We are upgrading the starting gates, lift systems for the track, and a brand new stop section for each of the tracks. There is going to be an entirely different video system and broadcast of video of the races, as well as a much improved method of letting those watching via our Livestream with results and inclusion of annoucements going on live at the event. There is a lot more that is going into 2014... but I just thought I might throw it out there that you keep getting the word out to Scout / Packs / Districts / Councils - about being able to participate in the 2014 Mid America Pinewood Derby.

And that maybe that would be a good place to have a little more restrictive rule set -- and if a car is even questionable then it will be placed into the open scout division.

Truly
Greg


Greg Dawes
Mid-America Pinewood Derby
http://www.midamericaderby.com

MOFAST
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:30 pm
Location: Kansas City, Mo
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by MOFAST » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:21 pm

What makes Mid-America great is getting away from those packs with super restrictive rules, that aren't fun. You attract the hard core derby addicts that are in love with a silly sport and whose kids love it too. I don't like being told what vendor I have to use, I don't like that my kids can't use the skills we have worked on (making wheels fast, etc.), I feel like you are trying to take steps back not move forward.

Don't change a great venue because of posts by a few people. If you get too restrictive you'll kill it. I respect everyone and their opinions, I'm just stating mine.

Once again Greg, thanks for all the hard work.



User avatar
FatSebastian
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 2646
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Boogerton, PA

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:33 pm

xanthrum wrote:If we are to add a special adult class
Although Speedster suggested a "stock class for Adults", I do not see why it has to be adult per se; it could be another type of open class.
xanthrum wrote:I would like to add a class that Fat Sebastian and Stan Pope - will build and race in
xanthrum wrote:One more important note... the primary and main focus of the Mid America Pinewood Derby will always be about the Scouts.
These statements seem to offset each other; perhaps the latter one intends to retract the former? My participation at Mid-America would likely be as the assistant of a willing juvenile. (My level of interest has yet to rise to the level of adult-proxy-racing hobbyist; at this point I am more interested in learning and helping, than competing.)
xanthrum wrote:I would however like to build a closer relationship with [MaxV]...
I am not sure what "closer relationship" means in this context - perhaps some kind of a sponsorship arrangement? I believe you once said "we are supposed to be teaching our kids" to "support the vendors out there that have helped us with products that are better" because that "is the way that things work in the real world." So, here's a chance to support a vendor!
xanthrum wrote:...if we are going to create a division that is utilizing only his products.
I believe that Speedster proposed this class as less of a competition ("not necessary to award trophies") and more of a communal experiment "to see how fast a builder could make a very basic car go." Presumably basic in the context means:
  • No axle or wheel modifications (except polishing where the axle, wheel, and body make contact).
    Stock wheelbase using slots.
    Graphite lubrication.
    Low cost.
My proposal (made at Speedster's urging) was to use MV axles and wheels, which are "BSA-like" but tend to be superior in quality and consistency. My interpretation of Speedster's motive was to remove certain major construction variables (wheelbase changes, wheel and axle modifications) to see how the other "lesser" variables affected the spread of outcomes. To help minimize the effects of manufacturing variations in BSA wheels and axles, I thought the suggestion of MV wheels and axles seemed appropriate toward Speedster's intent as I interpreted them. Personally, I have no vested interest in Maximum Velocity and I have never competed with MV wheels and axles.
Last edited by FatSebastian on Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.



User avatar
FatSebastian
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 2646
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Boogerton, PA

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:37 pm

MOFAST wrote:You attract the hard core derby addicts that are in love with a silly sport and whose kids love it too.
The attraction of “hard core derby addicts” might very well imply the repulsion of “normal people” who would consider Pinewood Derby to be a children’s pastime instead of a “sport”. Why not entertain options that cater to others (like Speedster)?
MOFAST wrote:I don't like being told what vendor I have to use, I don't like that my kids can't use the skills we have worked on (making wheels fast, etc.)
:unsure: Why not consider it an opportunity to refine other skills? Why not ignore it if is annoying?
MOFAST wrote:I feel like you are trying to take steps back not move forward.
:scratching:



User avatar
xanthrum
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:05 am
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by xanthrum » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:38 pm

MoFast - trust me - when I tell you that the bases of what the Mid America Pinewood Derby is will never change... the Open Scout Division will always allow the most advanced engineering and highest level of fair competition, with out creating such restrictive rules that it kills our very efficent process, and provides a venue for the fastest pinewood derby cars to race. We can always add Divisions or Classes to see how well they work or do not work.

My only point that I was trying to emphasize is that I know many packs still have ridiculous restrictive rules that are feeble attempts at trying to keep things fair... and we would certainly welcome the opportunity to provide a greater venue to those that have built cars that conform to such restrictive rules... the challenge is the tech in or tear down of cars after a race. I personally believe that the current MAPWD Rules are written in a manner that makes cheating nearly impossible.

I am aware that many purist want PWD to remain as "out of the box or kit" - we are happy to attempt to incorporate such a class to see if it works... I just know that it then becomes a HUGE challenge on the Tech In or Tear down... and I sure would hate being the person on a tear down to tell a young scout that he is disqualified because of a rules infraction. It is so much easier to have rules that allow all rule specification to be checked at check in.

We also welcome the opportunity in expanding to adult builders that don't want to compete in the Pro Divisions, or the current Adult Division rule set. I think Randy at MaxV is awesome - as many other Vendors are that continually support and make pinewood derby racing so interesting and fun, specifically many of those that have supported the Mid America Pinwood Derby.

Fat Sebastian if your interest lies in helping - come be apart of the 2014 Mid America Pinewood Derby - we have had some awesome people come and be apart of the races in the past it has been a blessing that guys like Derby Evolution, [no advertising for this vendor], DD 4 H, 5Kids, Derby Dominator, Cash Racing, Mr. Chips, Pinewood Pro, MoFast, Gravity X, K-Racing, Aircooled -- the list goes on... I understand that if you and Stan were to race and not win or do as well as you think you should it would hurt your creditbility - this is certainly not true, the time, effort and knowlege that you two share is vast... I dont have the time to pass on, test and illustrate the informaiton that you guys do. It was Awesome having Sporty be a part of things for the last two years... the application no matter what the rule set is key... Sporty in my humble opinion had an amazing showing.

We really want the Mid America Pinewood Derby to embody these principles:

- To Provide an Unparalleled Scouting Experience for all those that are involved.
- To Provide the highest Level of fair competition for Scouts within council and throughout the United States
- Long Term Vision – is to make Mid America Pinewood Derby the “Nationals” for Cub Scouting

We as leaders that are involved with Scouting know that the cooler - funner (if that is a word) we can make the scout expierence we have created a legacy of postive character development in our communities rooted on a solid foundation - of which is lacking in so much of our world today. Why not try some new things... create a class or division that generates more participation.


Greg Dawes
Mid-America Pinewood Derby
http://www.midamericaderby.com

User avatar
xanthrum
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:05 am
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by xanthrum » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:46 pm

I just want to clarify my last few sentences - Yes we are open to creating a New Class or Divsion - if it can be done in manner that works - I like Speedsters Ideas... many of the leagues had / have similar divisions that people have to essentially use the exact same parts and specs in buidling cars... If it allows others that might not normally compete a Class or Division that they are comfortable and want to compete in why not... I just might need some help in running such a class with some folks like Fat Sebastian to help with Tech In.


Greg Dawes
Mid-America Pinewood Derby
http://www.midamericaderby.com

MOFAST
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:30 pm
Location: Kansas City, Mo
Contact:

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by MOFAST » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:42 pm

I know how much work goes in to this event and to show my support if you need some race support I will volunteer to help check in cars or work a repair station (remove weight, whatever) for a couple of hours. I would like to see my kids race. I know that is selfish but I take vacation, get a hotel, eat out, buy gas. I want to enjoy my time there. Plus, I have to keep an eye on my boys! Who love the lego races by the way. I know I am blessed by being within driving distance (3 hours) and some traveling across country is not an option, but I am willing to help out even if it is in a small way.

If a strict stock class was added no problem, just don't ruin open scouts. I think the interest would be less than you expect.



User avatar
FatSebastian
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 2646
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Boogerton, PA

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:33 pm

xanthrum wrote:I am aware that many purist want PWD to remain as "out of the box or kit" ... I just know that it then becomes a HUGE challenge on the Tech In or Tear down...
No tear downs! That is also against the rules in the box! "After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race."

With that said, I do not quite see where a rule against axle or wheel modifications (except polishing where the axle, wheel, and body make contact) would be problematic for inspectors if graphite and slots were also required as Speedster proposed. Which is to say, if somebody wanted to carve a groove in their axle that can't be inspected without a tear-down, let them; I know of no strong evidence proving that a groove provides major benefits with graphite (except perhaps longevity of the lube). And if MV axles are used, that is an added incentive not to mess the with axle. Same argument goes for MV wheels.
xanthrum wrote:I understand that if you and Stan were to race and not win or do as well as you think you should it would hurt your creditbility
I already said I would like to participate if personal and professional obligations permitted. Actually showing up in person is likely impossible due to the distances involved, although it sounds like fun. Maintaining "derby cred" is not important to me (I didn't know I had any!); rather, competing in proxy races is just very low on our family priority list right now (no offense intended toward Mid-America).
MOFAST wrote:I think the interest would be less than you expect.
I think this is why Speedster wanted to hear from other racers who might like to join this race. Personally, my interest goes way up if unmodified MV wheels and axles are required, because less work would probably be needed to make a "stock" BSA-type competitive car and thus there would be more time to focus on other aspects which are time consuming to perfect. But others may see it differently...



Speedster
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:48 pm
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:29 am

"Hi" to Everyone. I hope you are all having a nice day.

My original thought about this race was for education. I wanted to enter 2 cars and see where they would finish in the race. I also wanted pictures of the winning cars and hopefully the builder would tell us what he did. Assuming I didn't win, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, I could then display my cars and times and the pictures of the winning cars and their times and talk about it at our lectures and workshops. These cars would be somewhat like what a scout would enter in his Pack race. All Districts in our Erie Council require stock wheelbase. Rules vary a bit but most are fairly restrictive. We could all learn a lot from the Champions across the U.S. The wheels & axles from Max V are Super Cheap. Any pinewood can be used for the car. All other things can be purchased from anywhere - weight, lube, wax, 5 minute epoxy, paint, clear coat, body skins, etc. If all Max V sells is wheels and axles I think he will receive the least profit involving this race.

This race was meant to be for "Adults Only" and there was a reason for that. I didn't want a child's feelings involved in anyway. Cheaters??? Ha, Ha. The jokes on you. I don't really care. If you find a way to cheat, I hope you win. What a blow it would be to come in 15th place and you got beat by folks who didn't cheat. Tearing down cars??? No, not interested. This race should not be a burden on Greg and his already overworked staff. Why graphite only? It's cheap. I was hoping no one could "buy" speed for this race. Why no trophies of any kind? Give them to the kids. If the 1st Place winner needs a trophy he can make one for himself and personalize it. I have already made mine just in case I win. It reads:

I, Bill Klingler, beat every League Racer and Everyone Else in the United States that competed in the Mid America Stock Car Class in 2014. I wanted to keep it humble so I used Lower Case letters.

Gentlemen, if this race happens I look forward to racing you.

Yours in "Going Downhill Fast",
Bill



User avatar
FatSebastian
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 2646
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Boogerton, PA

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by FatSebastian » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:02 am

Speedster wrote:My original thought about this race was for education.
Thanks for the affirmation; I was thinking this when I used the phrase communal experiment. I find the concept interesting.
Speedster wrote:I didn't want a child's feelings involved in anyway.
:cry: Adults have feelings, too! But seriously, we tend to only build cars with child involvement, for reasons that don't need to be belabored on DT. I might make an exception for the advancement of science, but kid involvement in an experiment has its own value.
Speedster wrote:Cheaters??? Ha, Ha. The jokes on you. I don't really care.
My concern would be that it skews the experiment by creating outliers that would (hopefully) not be "somewhat like what a scout would enter in his Pack race." But I agree that a lot of effort should not be put into inspection, or emphasis on awards.
Speedster wrote:Why graphite only? It's cheap.
It's also consistent with the rules in the box, and most "like what a scout would enter."



Speedster
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:48 pm
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by Speedster » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:33 pm

FS, I Love those little yellow faces. They make me smile.



resullivan
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:29 am
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Mid America Pinewood Derby

Post by resullivan » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:11 pm

xanthrum wrote: Also I really love Max V and all the products that Randy does an excellent job in testing, marketing, and promoting... I would however like to build a closer relationship with him if we are going to create a division that is utilizing only his products.

Truly
Greg
The main thing I can think of as far as this goes we emailed some back and forth last year about. It would be a non-bearing needle axle/razor wheel class.



Post Reply