Sunday, March 16, 2008

pinecar derby 2008  

posted by Michael Piwonka 11:54 AM
After last year's successful derby, Mason and I were eager for this year's event. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out so well this year.

First, I attempted to make a "sportier" looking car this year, but I cut away too much wood where the nails (as axles) are hammered in, causing the wood to split. After hours of delicate gluing, I was able to secure the wood and nails without gluing the wheels in a fixed position. (Naturally we waited until the last minute to work on the car, preventing us from starting all over once the problems began.)

But the worst was yet to come. When we showed up for weigh-in the night before the competition, I was attaching weights to get the car exactly to the 5 ounce limit. I accidentally got some SuperGlue on one of the wheels! I attempted to remove it, and I spun the wheel as I blew on the wheel, hoping to dry the glue without fastening the wheel to the nail. I thought I had successfully avoided disaster, but upon returning the next day the wheel was completely immobile.

I attempted to break it free, but just broke the axle (nail) free instead. Mason's racing day was effectively over before it began!

I apologized to him profusely (actually I apologized the night before, fearing the worst once I realized I had put too much glue on the car), but he was very upset. I think he was mainly embarrassed when the wheel came off during the first run of his car.

I told him that he just needed to laugh about it, and to tell everyone that he was going to hire a better mechanic next year. He recovered quickly, as soon as he and his friends returned outside to play football. I think they were more interested in playing outside than watching the cars race anyway.

But now we're even more determined to return to our winning ways next year. Or, at least finish a race in one piece. Mason hasn't decided if he's going to hire a new pit crew for next year...

Here are pictures of the preparation of the car, and some assorted pictures from the competition.

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