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20120728 180101 Jim Burke and Power Wheel Racing

Power Wheel Racing impresario Jim Burke was set for a full two days of racing fun. Coming to Detroit from Chicago, Jim organizes the races, inviting hackerspaces to enter cars. This is the third year for Power Wheel racing at Maker Faire Detroit.

The cars speed around the track, break down, get fixed and then start up again. Jim is the announcer for the racing program, and he does a remarkable job He takes the races seriously but he also sees them as great entertainment. I love to hear him call a race.

He also explains how racers can win moxie points, which are rewards for slower racers who endear themselves to the audience.

Jim says he started wearing his red fez so that people would know who’s in charge. “People are more likely to point you out as a leader if you are wearing a strange hat,” said Jim. “I don’t know why, it just works.”

I caught the start of one of today’s 15 lap heats.

Dale Dougherty

I’m founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire. I am CEO of Maker Media, the company that produces MAKE, Maker Faire and Maker Shed. I am Chairman of the Maker Education Initiative (www.makered.org).


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