Marion County residents will try to set a new world’s record today (Saturday) by racing Hot Wheels cars on what’s believed to be the longest-ever toy track. Randy Belding, of Pella, says the current record was set in Canada and is 16-hundred-50 feet, which the Iowans hope to beat by assembling about a quarter-mile’s worth of plastic track in downtown Knoxville. Belding says the race will start in Knoxville’s main square and run down Second Street. “It’s gonna’ be a challenge. Knoxville’s a wonderful little town but it doesn’t have a lot of hills. It’s one of the very few hills we could find that we thought we had a decent chance of letting Mother Nature help us run this thing down the hill.” Since the little cars don’t have engines, they get their forward momentum either from being pushed or from gravity. That’s why Belding is arranging to have some heavy equipment prop up the starting gate. They’ll lift up the track and they’ll start it some 25 feet in the air and it’ll run for the first 200 or 250 feet before it starts going downhill and after that, gravity should take over. The track being used is Belding’s own creation. It’s similar to the traditional orange Hot Wheels track but Belding’s track is blue and dual-laned, so the cars can race side-by-side without touching. He says many verbal challenges are already being made for the races. Local restaurants are challenging each other, Iowa Telecom is racing 3-M and Belding’s children are facing off with their friends. He says anyone else is welcome to bring their Hot Wheels cars and race as long as they first make a donation to the Red Cross. The racing is scheduled to start at 1 P.M. For more information, surf to “www.blutrack.com”.
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