Slingshot Rail Dragsters

The Puzzler

RAY: Here's the answer. Centrifugal force was responsible, because what was happening is that as those front tires were turning at 200 miles an hour, the Schrader valve that's used to hold the air in was being pulled by centrifugal force and opening up.

TOM: No kidding.

RAY: No, that's what they said. I don't think kidding was exactly the word they used. The valve was opening up, and air pressure was being lost because it was just as if someone had stuck something in there to deflate the tire. But what was happening was the tire was spinning so fast that the Schrader valve was actually opening up due to centrifugal force, letting air out, and at the end of the run the tires would be flat. They solved the problem by putting O-rings in the little caps so that even though the valve opened the tires wouldn't lose pressure. Pretty cute, eh?

TOM: It's just cute but it doesn't seem like it's possible.

RAY: Doesn't seem possible? That's probably because it might be boh-oh-oh-oh-gus. Anyway, do we have a winner?

TOM: We certainly do. Our winner is Stan Wilman from Bettendorf, Iowa, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Stan's going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which Stan can get himself a set of Car Talk reusable shopping bags.

RAY: Congratulations, Stan!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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