Power Wheels Racing: Fat Men On Souped-Up Toy CarsS

The Power Wheels Racing series is simple: Take any Power Wheels vehicle, modify it, and race it. The all-electric series results in last-minute, hacked-together racing machines of dubious quality, questionable safety, and spectacular entertainment. It's the perfect Maker Faire motorsport.

These "Power Wheels" remain factory spec in pretty much body plastic alone, sometimes not even that. Underneath the pink plastic and cartoonish proportions are electric-drive miniature race cars. There are essentially only two rules: Cars must have some elements of a Power Wheels or similar vehicle, and they must be electric. As you might expect, the goof balls who enter cars take as much liberty in getting cheaty as possible.

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Cars range in design from basically resized riding lawnmowers to hand-fabbed drag-trikes. They aren't just one trick ponies though, the cars have to be capable in a drag race, on a tire-track road course, and a brutal hour-long endurance race. Just like any series the teams tune their rides in the pits, tweaking for speed, handling, power-output and in many cases added danger.

Sunday featured the brutal endurance race, requiring competitors to figure ways to hot-swap depleted battery packs as quickly as possible in order to stay keep in the race. The competitions was fierce, occasionally tipsy, and constantly funny to watch. This was a war of attrition though and a good deal of the field uh, attrited. Of the original six entrants only three finished (kinda) with the teams dropping out, hacking their ride back together and limping back onto the track. There was only one fire which came from the odd shop trike entry fielded by the jokers from Paper Street Motors, who disregarded the rules entirely and weren't out for competition, just for fun.

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Two vehicles were super reliable and put on an endurance racing clinic. One, the "Pit Rats" of OmniCorps Detroit took the race with decent speed, good handling and unfaltering performance. They didn't even need to come in for a battery change. Taking second was "Baby Burrito" out of Milwaukee employing the slow and steady wins the race strategy, in third with a fast but occasionally broken car was i3 Detroit in their "My Little Friend" Jeep. Who knows, maybe there'll be a Jalop entry next year.