Today was the Sinnissippi councils, council wide Pinewood derby. All the scout troops and packs from the area compete for the top prize of best of Sinnissippi for 2005.
As some of you know my son Travis built a car in the shape of an SSR and painted it Kandy blue. He is only a Tiger cub this year so it is his first time racing. In a preivious post I let everyone know how he (and the SSR) did in the derby. Fastest overall time and second place after 4 averaged runs, alonf with coolest car in the pack.
Well, today at the Scout-O-Rama, he ran the SSR once again, against 45 other top scouts. The SSR came out of the gates running 3.554 seconds, his personal best. The next few runs were a little slower 3.605, 3.625, and 3.642. Still not bad for a first time racer. After all the scouts had run their four races and average times were calculated, the SSR finished receiving a trophy for tenth place. Give him a pat on the back for that. They also had a judged event where thre people looked over the carsa and chose the best of show and ten top design awards. The SSR was announced as the best of show as the director held up the SSR, everyone applauded. A short time later they announced it again for judeges choice,suddenly it was silent (as if poeple were questioning why he won two jugdges awards. then it came up that they made a mistake and that the SSR was not best of show, but was Judges choice. They asked if this was ok to Travis to trade trophies, and he was a good sport about it, and traded the best of show for the judeges choice. When they held up the best of show winner this time it was a flat shaped red car with a big "W" in the top (stood for the Wisconsin badgers collage athletic teams), and was give a mix of applause and boos. We let it go, and made agoood day of it.
After the scouts were done it was time for the open class, in which I had two entries and my daughter Storm had one out of sixteen. I was in the first heat and set the pace for everyone else to keep up. The first run was 3.542 with cosecutive runs of 3.535, 3.525, and 3.528. The daughter held on to second place until the last four racers (all the same family) which ran consistent 3.520, 3.523, 3.525and 3.514. All three of there cars wer built identically and ran alomost identical times.
I said to myself "guess I have some more figuring to do to win next year". More on this subject later in the post.
Next we had a special class this year for the 75th anniversary of scouting, the ANTIQUE class (makes me sond old). I entered three cars in this event reguardless of there not being any awards for this class. Since I had three race cars in the first heat they asked me just how old the cars were. I replied that the oldest one I was running today was 30 years old. They asked if any on could beat that, and two poeple spoke up. One that was running was 33 years old and another thas was merely there for display was 45 years old.. Well off we went racing these vintage cars, and low and behold my 30 year old car ran a best time of 3.675 (not to shabby for just pulling it off the shelf and dusting it off. The leadr of the race was my 28 year old car running 3.654 and my 27 year old car running a 3.668. The race director asked me if I had regraphited the wheels or modified them and I just had to reply nota chance thes babies are too old to be eworked in any way. There was another fella who ran really close tomy time, who responded that he had reworked his just for this race. As a little chuckle came from the crowd. After this race was completed. The results were that all three of my vintage cars has swept the field, and if put up against todays racers could still hold there own.
Once all the awards were handed out, one of the other fathers in our group asked the family that edged me out in the open class what they had done to squeek out the extra .021 seconds off my times. Their answer was a little hesitant at first, but he then told us that since this was their last year in the derby they would tell us since we were the only one's to ask. They showed us the cars and I immiediatly spotted where they had gotten there .021 seconds (or at least some of it), they had taken the front end of the car and left it staight accross (looking down), normal looking from the side (3/16-1/4" thick in the front), but when looking from the front they had hollowed out the area in the center of the cars, so that when the pins were ready to release, their cars would get that .020 second head start on the other cars. Just goes to show you that if you cheat descretely You can beat even the best of the regulatory built cars.
Oh well, we have eight months to come up with a faster vehicle design that will hopefully break all records and make it into the 3.4 second range.