Alexandria Industries Makes World's Longest Hot Wheels® Toy Race Track
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.--Alexandria Industries recently created what is reported to be the world's longest toy track for the Hot Wheels World's Best DriverTM Championship, held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the eve of the Indy 500 in May. 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. Its 1,494 straight and curved track sections demanded engineering expertise and close attention to dimensions and tolerances to ensure that each section would fit perfectly.
Alexandria Industries team members used aluminum extruding to create each section. The process involved heating a billet--or log--of aluminum and pushing it through a die to create 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."
According to Alexandria Industries, 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.
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.
Alexandria Industries is headquartered in Alexandria, Minn., with manufacturing locations in Minnesota, Indiana and Texas. The company's ISO 9001:2008-certified facilities deliver customized aluminum extrusions, precision machining of ferrous and non-ferrous products, heat sinks, high-level assemblies, welding, and plastic injection and foam molding components that meet customers' exact specifications.
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