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Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
Would a pinewood derby racer go faster if it had more weight?



Replies:
Actually, as far as I know, there is no reason why a racer would go faster if it weighed more. Well, it might go a little faster, because the force pulling on it (gravity) would be stronger relative to the air resistance, but I think the strongest source of resistance for pine- wood derby cars is friction in the wheels, and that should get bigger just as the weight gets bigger. What I would recommend is an experiment - if you can get a slightly sloped surface to race your car down, and time it carefully. You might find that it went faster with some extra weight. You might also figure out other ways to improve your car.


Here are some suggestions that might help you out:

1) Make sure the wheels are round and smooth

2) If your track starts on an incline, (most do) put as much weight as you can near the rear of the car. You do not want to make it unstable, but you do want as much potential energy as possible. It will only help at the bottom of the track.

3) Try to make sure that the axles are straight.

Eric Peterson






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