When the derby kits arrived from Coolfire, I was of two minds. And recently on a heavy regimen of Nawgan, both sides are bringing stronger, more focused points of view. My left brain instantly recalled last year's losing design. Too much rear weight, flimsy axle slots, questionable alignment and fourth place. Right brain started doodling and humming Speed Racer.
As left brain Googled until the wee hours, right brain perused Jalopnik, Porsche and Motor Trend sites for design inspiration. Left brain rolled its eye. Style doesn't win a Pinewood Derby, it snapped like a wet towel to the temple of right brain. Ah yes, winning. This they agreed on.
So still a couple weeks out, they struck a deal.
Left brain donned the safety glasses and took over. Right brain said wake me when it's time to paint. Left brain got out the saws and sanders. Left brain did math, developed theories, tested hypotheses. Left brain soaked in research on center of gravity, drag coefficient and friction reduction. Right brain daydreamed of F1 grid girls. Left brain drilled and weighted. Right brain ordered shiny lacquer. Left brain obsessed over 4.8 before paint. Right brain spit-balled names with Medulla Oblongata. Mind Candy, Chaos Theory, Infinite Knowledge and Genius Juice. And while left brain caught some shut eye, right brain dipped the contenders in green, white, yellow and red.
Upon waking, left brain gurgled and fired disapproving electrical impulses, before mounting the wheels with surgical precision. While right brain marveled at its colorful fleet of miniature hot rods, left brain took out the scale and ran logarithms. As right brain practiced victory dances, left brain delivered the hard news.
Mind Candy and Genius Juice were too heavy. Infinite Knowledge looked to be unstable at speed. Chaos Theory met standards, but was the design black sheep of the bunch-the bonus what if, that surely wasn't competition material. Then, to the melodramatic shrieks of right brain, the drill came out. Left brain coldly pulled the trigger. As the wood shavings curled, right brain squirmed and pouted. Suddenly the yellow Genius Juice with its clever bendy straw looked like cheese. This meant nothing to left brain. Rules are rules. So left brain kept drilling until the scale read 5.0. And that was that. Engineering made the final call on entry day, not design. Right brain sulked.
Until race day.
After that first run, the spongy hemispheres reunited in my head. Like a slo-mo beach jog and hug in my skull. Wasn't long before they were singing and drinking Jack Daniels from their new trophy. Reveling with their like-minded RT cohorts. A fantastic night sponsored by our friends at CFM.
Left brain is already thinking about next year. And where we can rent a wind tunnel.