Rebuilding the Redline Derby Speedway

redlinederby Monday, 8/31/2020
Site manager

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I've been without an active race track since this past Spring due to a basement flood. And sadly, it's taken this long to get things repaired and ready for living. Of course, there's that little COVID thing going on which threw everything out of whack too...but now that school's back in session and there's a little more schedule to everyday, my track work is slowly starting back up in a quest to rebuild the Redline Derby Speedway, my shelf track drag strip.

The walls got a fresh coat of paint, as did the track boards, and so now it's time to rethink the track at large. What do I want to change? What should stay the same? 

All in all, the track will be very much the same as it was before. The wall and space lends itself to a classic drag strip, so I just can't do much more there. I was able to acquire another roll of seamless orange track, so I'll be happy to see this thing with 4 lanes of consistent track...should provide for some interesting races down the line.

The one thing I wanted to focus on was the transition, aka, The Whump. The previous version of the Speedway had a pretty hard transition coming out of the hill and into the straight. In many ways I thought it gave the track some character but it could also be hard to deal with in terms of providing reliable races.

My first plan is to see if I can put together a longer slope for the hill, more like a pinewood derby style hill of sorts. I wasn't sure how to go about such a thing (and still aren't) but when I was doing some prototyping with cardboard to see what type of curve I want, I'm thinking that might be the solution. The cardboard has a good, natural sag to it that makes for a track line I like. I'm gonna try to add in some sort of support (probably styrofoam or wood) under the cardboard and that might be enough.

I might also lower the height of the drop a few inches. It might not be needed if I go with the pinewood hill but it might make for some better video angles given how my basement is setup. We'll see.

I guess there's not too much to share or discuss quite yet...again, a pretty simple build to get things started. Once I have the drag strip operational, I'm going to explore building an open track so I have some options.


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Looking good...very thin plywood aka luan will bend and could also use some wood screws to secure it and by loosening or tightening the screws you could play around with the transition.

  • I have some very thin panel MDF stuff that I might try too. Seems like it's going to be a lot of materials experimenting. — redlinederby
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CrazyEights 8/31/20

Where you used the cardboard for your transition, I found a thin piece of plywood lying around that is flexible. It may be more sturdy than the cardboard.

Looking forward to seeing it and getting a chance to race there. Good Luck!

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Go_Time 8/31/20

Thats great!  For the transition you could consider Lexan from home depot.  Its got a good sag to it and its SUPER durable (the one pictured is .093). Just an idea.  Good luck brother, looking forward to seeing the end result.

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Mattman213 8/31/20

Glad to see its finally coming around!!!  Good luck with it hope to see some races on it soon!


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Rusty 9/1/20

Well if you were closer I've give you some of the White Corrugated Plastic Cardboard type stuff I have laying around.Like the stuff they make political signs out of.Bends easy ,but yet is strong..I think some of the guys are using it for wide tracks also..

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redlinederby 9/2/20
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Played around with some stuff last night...found a half sheet of MDF panel laying around that seemingly makes for a great curve. I added some bolts so I can adjust the tension/size of the slope if needed, which makes me happy. My old transition strips were steel and getting them aligned was more or less a act of luck (see The Whump above).

I'll need to place some stuffing under the slope for some support but should be easy enough. So far, pretty happy with progress. Next step is probably getting out my seamless and getting it straight...ugh...such a pain.

Love it...that's exactly what I had in mind and those bolts work better than the screws...Bravo!!!

Have fun wrestling with the seamless...

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redlinederby 9/4/20
Site manager

Dug out the ol' roll of track and got it flat and doing some test fitting...

Thinking this time I might use some molding to give the track some edges. It'll help keep things straight and I don't think it'll look half bad.

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redlinederby 9/11/20
Site manager

After some wrestling with the seamless roll, got all 4 lanes test fitted on the track. Looking pretty good and feels good. Lots of testing yet to go but encouraging.

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redlinederby 9/11/20
Site manager

I also tried something new to get my track to stay put...magnets! I got some of those fancy super magnets from Home Depot and put them flush with the track base boards. Slid some washers in the track and it holds down the track just enough to stop it from moving, especially on the hill as it's coming off the starting gate.

  • Clever...I like it — LeagueofSpeed
  • Great idea! I'm going to try that on my track! — Chad_G
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Chaos_Canyon 9/11/20

NIce work on the magnets. Keen to see you racing, then we can get you into the DSPN as well :)

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