Saturday, August 24, 2019

Benesch Breaks Guinness World Record for Longest Hot Wheels Track

On Saturday,  August 24, 2019, Alfred Benesch & Company's, Pottsville branch, attempted and shattered the Guinness World Record for Longest Hot Wheels Track.

The record attempt took place on Buckhorn Road (Old Route 901), in Foster Township near the Minersville Exit of Interstate 81.

Benesch Engineer John Knecht along with his family presented an idea to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Hot Wheels Longest Track. Benesch management approved and offered to fund the event and planning started from there.

Knecht contacted Guinness and sent in the necessary paperwork to officially start the process.

The record stood at 1,838 feet and was held by Mattel Inc., in Moscow, Russia.

Over the past few weeks, Benesch employees and their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews prepared for the event by holding 2 workshops, where more than 40 children, parents and employees participated at various stations.

Stations included track assembly, creating and designing 100 foot track markers, and building toy bridges to hold the markers. Additionally, a test track was set up for the children to compare each car’s speed and stability. The company felt that the record attempt is an opportunity for the children of Benesch to practice teamwork and cooperation while developing planning and critical thinking skills. The challenge of building the record breaking roadway parallels the transportation design work performed by their parents at Benesch.

In finding the perfect location in Schuylkill County to make the attempt, Knecht said "we used some of our grade tools to find the right slope that would give us the right conditions and speed".

"Our company has worked with Foster Township previously and after talking to them, doing some tests, the old Route 901 hill was the perfect spot" Knecht added.

Knecht's son, Jack, 5, also played a big role in the attempt.  "He loves his Hot Wheels, and we would sit and look up online different ways of setting up the track, and the question eventually came up, how long of a track can we make?" he said.

On Saturday, the families and friends of Benesch arrived at 8:00am, when Cass and Foster Township Police closed off the road.  They spent the next hour, setting up the approximate 1,400 pieces of track, straightening and cleaning off any rocks, and running test cars until the track was just right.

A few minutes before 9:30am, Jack Knecht stood at the top of the 2,187 feet of track and let go of his 2017 Hot Wheels Cyber Speeder.

John and Jack Knecht hopped on a golf cart and followed the car as it traveled the track reaching speeds of 15 mph.

Cass Township Police Officer David Cromyak stood at the 1,838 record and verified as the car passed through and broke the record.

The Benesch employees didn't just want to break the record, they wanted to shatter it.  The car careened another 200 feet of track until passing the finish line at 2,187 mark.

Schuylkill County Commissioners Gary Hess, Frank Staudenmeier, and George Halcovage waited at the finish line with the kids to celebrate the accomplishment.

After a small party at the finish line, kids at the event were able to drop cars through the course to try it themselves.

Knecht will submit photos and videos from Saturday to Guinness to make the accomplishment official.