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Sort of accused of cheating

Discussion in 'General Pinewood Derby Discussion' started by Wendavol, May 23, 2022.

  1. Wendavol

    Wendavol Bent Axle

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    I just wanted to share our experience at my scout's pinewood derby. This last one was our fourth year in a row that we placed at council. The past three we got 2nd place overall. This year we won 1st overall. The scout who beat us the years before had advanced to boy scouts so he wasn't there, but his dad was. His dad has run the pinewood derby at our district and council since my son started in cub scouts. After we won council by 0.01 seconds, he approached me and asked if I did a couple illegal things. I was insulted but kept my composure and told him the basics of what we do and how many hours go into it. He seemed to sarcastically say that sometime I should tell him how I learned to be so fast. So that made me feel like he still thinks we cheated. He didn't disqualify my son (that would have sent me through the roof), so he got the 1st place trophy.

    I hope you all see the irony in this. If we were 2nd to his son all these years, but now we are 1st then we must be cheating. So according to that logic, he was cheating the whole time.

    I'm not sure what to expect next year. Maybe I should be prepared to remove the axels to show them they are bsa axels and that we're not using oil even though the car has graphite all over it? All these years, all they have done at check-in is make sure the car will fit in the box, weigh it, give it a quick glance. I have never seen any winner's parents get questioned until I was.
     
  2. Mojo Racing

    Mojo Racing National Contender Pro Racer

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    That is how it is in scouts... the first place cubs are always accused of cheating...
     
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  3. Brian Stanley

    Brian Stanley Council Champion Pro Racer

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    That's how it goes when the wrong Scout wins. If this father has been into PWD for this long he didn't just stop building cars once his kid aged out. You likely beat his buddy's kid's car who he helped, probably figured they had 1st locked up. You get folks like that who think if your car is slower it's because you don't know what you're doing, if it's faster it's because you're cheating.
     
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  4. Loud2ns

    Loud2ns Workshop Leader

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    I wouldn't be eager to do a post race teardown unless all the top spots received the same level of scrutiny. The key being post.....we won't be taking wheels off before.
    Btw- what did he specifically ask you what you did? Is he the current race director or former?
     
  5. Wendavol

    Wendavol Bent Axle

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    He asked "are you using liquid lubricant because that's illegal?". I told him we use hob-e-lube from Hobby Lobby. He asked "is that liquid?", and I'm thinking how do you not know what that is? I told him it's graphite from Hobby Lobby. He then asked "did you get lightened wheels because purchasing parts off the internet is illegal?". We got lightened wheels by using a wheel shaver and lightly sanding. I told him that. Then he asked "how did you learn to get so fast?" I said I searched the internet, started out by watching YouTube videos. Then he sarcastically said "let me know sometime what YouTube videos helped you". I did not mention this site because I really do not want to give him every secret I have. He then asked if I had a track, and I said I have a short test track.

    So those questions made me feel like he was going from trying to get me to admit I'm cheating to finding out what our secret is to being fast. I asked him how did he get his son's cars to be so fast. He said he "angles the wheels", which to me was not at all a speed secret. That's like saying your secret is putting graphite on the axles.

    He runs the pinewood derby at my district and council levels. He has for the past 4 years. He takes care of the well maintained Best Track.
     
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  6. Wendavol

    Wendavol Bent Axle

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    You hit the nail on the head. We found out he's helping a cub who is related to a Scouts Director. That kid was 2nd to my son at pack, district, and council.
     
  7. Loud2ns

    Loud2ns Workshop Leader

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    Well, you must be doing something right! Keep up the good work and congratulations on the wins! They're going to be gunning for you guys now so don't let up.
     
  8. T-Bone Racing

    T-Bone Racing Workshop Leader

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    Never fails! That’s the way it goes in scouts sometimes.
     
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  9. B_Regal Racing

    B_Regal Racing PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    There are some obvious factors that make a car fast with quality/weight of the wheels, alignment, car weighting being the high 3; however, even with those things, it always comes down to the builder and how meticulous you are. The one who puts in the most effort usually wins. There are a few builders so much better than me that even if I had the best parts available, I will still lose to a skilled builder with substandard parts. I would invite him over, have both kids build their cars together, tell him about this site...it will not matter. The skilled builder will always find a way to win.
     
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  10. Wendavol

    Wendavol Bent Axle

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    You're right, I can't count the hours we put into making that little car fast. I don't tell anyone the amount of time we give for fear they'll think I'm nuts. But I enjoy the skill and thinking that's involved. More importantly, my son is always excited around pinewood derby time. It's a great bonding experience.
     
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  11. Loud2ns

    Loud2ns Workshop Leader

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    That's the name of the game!!
     
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  12. Eric Scheid

    Eric Scheid Pinewood Ninja

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    I know how you feel. Our first year we were accused of cheating simply because I’m a mechanical engineer. We had barely polished the box axles and started maybe 2 week before the race. We came in 2nd with a >3 s car. The next year we unleashed my full engineering fury along with 6 months of prep.

    oh I staged the cars that next year. The derby lead and the pack leader were both running illegal wheels, a few car lengths back….
     
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  13. Wendavol

    Wendavol Bent Axle

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    That's funny that they thought a parent's profession should be against the rules. Ban that scout, his dad is smart!
    Our very first district race 3 years ago we won. We literally just got ideas from internet searches and didn't spend much time on the car. We didn't even have a tuning board or check for wheel wobble. The years after, we kept getting 2nd at district and council. We increased the amount of effort and kept learning until finally winning council this year.
     
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