Having fun with its serious aluminum extruding expertise, Alexandria Industries created the world’s longest toy track for the Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver Championship held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the eve of the Indy 500.
The track consisted of four one-mile-long lanes arranged side by side in a giant oval, powder coated in the iconic Hot Wheels orange. While it was fun to be a part of, the project’s 1,494 straight and curved track sections demanded engineering expertise and close attention to dimensions and tolerances to ensure each section fits perfectly.
Alexandria Industries team members created each section with aluminum extruding. The process involved heating a billet—or log—of aluminum and pushing it through a die creating the track shape. To make the precision curved sections, team members enclosed the track in a custom, form-fitting plastic mold and used a process called stretch-forming, which stretches the extrusion around the form tool to keep its track shape while bending.
“This project brought out the kid in our entire team,” said Tom Schabel, CEO, Alexandria Industries. “Working with Mattel to provide engineering assistance and create a new world record while bringing joy to so many young racing fans during the Indy 500 weekend was an honor.”
The track was assembled on the front straightaway of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where four kids raced toy-size cars during Saturday evening’s championship. Christopher Bienusa, a 12-year-old from Alexandria, Minn., emerged as the victor.
Fun facts about the track:
- 4,674 pounds of aluminum were used to make the track. That’s enough aluminum for 149,568 cans of soda, which if laid end to end, would be longer than 3,432 Indy race cars parked end to end.
- In the extrusion process, the aluminum was heated to 900 degrees Fahrenheit – about the same temperature as the surface of Venus.
- 1,056 Hot Wheels speed boosters are mounted along the track to propel the toy cars.
- Four 1:64-scale diecast Hot Wheels Camaros were raced on the track.
- 9.07 mph top speed for a 1:64 toy car equals 580 mph for life-size scale car.
Filed Under: Assembly, Automotive