Scouts attempt the longest Hot Wheels track on Tuesday at Stillwater Lift Bridge – Twin Cities

Here’s what it takes to build a contender for the world’s longest Hot Wheels track: 3,600 feet of track, a six-foot stepladder, a leaf blower, dozens of Swiffers, and a $1 blue car.

Volunteers and staff from Northern Star Scouting, the local chapter of BSA Scouts, will meet on a hilltop in Houlton, Wisconsin on Tuesday morning to build the trail, which will end in the middle of the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge .

Turns out, Houlton’s hill is a near-perfect grade—8%—for a Hot Wheels track. The hill is part of the Loop Trail, a 4.7-mile walking and biking trail that crosses both the Lift Bridge and the St. Croix River Bridge in Oak Park Heights.

“We’ve had a few conversations with experts at Hot Wheels, and they say a rating between 5 and 7 percent is kind of perfect, but if you can find 8, there’s nothing wrong with that.” said Greg Ball, Field Manager and Membership Staff Advisor for Northern Star Scouting. “It’s a very straight race, so we don’t risk jumping over embankments or curves. The note actually gives us quite a bit of momentum and speed and it will help us overcome any challenges. … The faster you go, the more likely you are to stay on the track.

The world record attempt – which begins at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday – was Ball’s idea.

UPDATE: Too Hot for Hot Wheels World Record Attempt

Northern Star Scouting’s recruiting theme this year is “Race Into Cub Scouting,” Ball said, and council staff decided to purchase pieces of Hot Wheels track to include in kits to distribute to local schools.

“As we were buying up all of this lead, it occurred to me that we had accumulated quite a bit of it,” Ball said. “It made me wonder what the world record was.”

Turns out it was set by the “Fitzy & Wippa Show” in Sydney, Australia on August 4, 2020. According to Guinness World Records, the Aussie breakfast radio show reached a distance of 2 464 feet 4 inches.

“It didn’t seem impossible,” Ball said. “And that seemed like something that would fit really well in a program like Scouting. It involves cooperation and excitement and being outdoors – those are all things Cubs love to do. And so we sort of jumped on it.


In order to qualify for an official world record, Northern Star Scouting officials must provide Guinness with a professional surveyor’s report, reports from two witnesses who will attest that only one car was used all the time; and “continuous video with the car in frame the entire time,” said Bill Anderson-Horecka, senior director of development for Northern Star Scouting.

Officials must also provide two sets of measurements: the linear distance of the track and the distance of the track from start to finish without considering elevation.

Other rules: Only an official Hot Wheels car and an official Hot Wheels track may be used. The track should stay together by itself; “no glue or tape or anything like that” is allowed, Anderson-Horecka said.

Testing last week went well, but organizers learned that “the heat causes the plastic track to expand by about 5%,” Anderson-Horecka said. “We have 1,800 pieces of track. Five percent doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have that many pieces, it basically causes the road to buckle and you have to adjust every piece of the lane.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for a midday temperature of 82 degrees, but “we still expect some sort of expansion,” he said. “We have 100 volunteers – adults and children – and their job will be to move each piece of track forward a few inches so that it’s flat.”

Organizers plan to start the race atop a 6-foot aluminum stepladder. They’ll use about a dozen Hot Wheels “power boosters” at the bottom of the hill to get the car moving across the bridge. The track will end just east of the lift portion of the lift bridge.

The battery-powered boosters were purchased at thrift stores and through Facebook Marketplace, Anderson-Horecka said. Prices ranged from $8 to $15, he said.

“We bought about 40 of them, and about 12 to 16 doesn’t consistently push cars off the track,” he said. “We’ve pulled the vouchers from the pile and we’re going to use them. They averaged 40 feet with the ones we tested.

In addition to being cheaper, used boosters work better than new ones, he said. “They don’t make them like that anymore.”

The pieces of track, purchased wholesale for around $1,000 from Dollar Tree, will be marked with stickers indicating they were used in the world record attempt and returned to volunteers at the end of the day, a- he declared.

Organizers plan to use a blue Tokyo Drift Hot Wheels car purchased from Target. “We call it ‘Old Blue,'” Anderson-Horecka said. “It’s the most reliable we have. We have a few more, but this one doesn’t seem to fly the most.

Every grain of soil, every leaf that falls or every pine needle that blows is a potential disaster, he said.

“An engineer told us that a speck of dirt on this track is like hitting a rock on the freeway at 70 miles an hour, so you have to keep it clean,” he said. declared.

Hence the leaf blower and dozens of Swiffers. “We’re going to blow away all the debris, and every 20 feet of track a Swiffer duster will be cleaned,” he said. “We’ll have a time where we radio everyone and say, ‘OK, everyone. Swiffer the duster.

Anderson-Horecka said her biggest fear was “getting so close to the record and then dropping it in the same spot and not being able to fix it.”

“We’ve been through most scenarios,” he said. “You can’t plan 100%. You predict 85, and you’ll see what happens. I think we are at 85-90%. We have everything planned. I’m just ready to do it. Make sure that this happens.”