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If your child loves cars, racing, and has a natural need for speed, Power Wheel racing may be the right choice for you. This sport is growing and is a great way to introduce children to the world of racing. While it can be fast-paced and requires some know-how, this style of racing is great for kids of practically all ages. 

Power Wheels racing has been around for years but became official in 2009 with the Maker Faire company. There have since been races created around the United States for children of all ages and even adults. Power Wheel racing continues to grow in popularity each year.

If you are interested in learning more about Power Wheel racing and how your child can participate, continue reading. 

power wheels racing

What is Power Wheel Racing?

Power Wheel Racing has been continuously becoming more popular since its beginning in 2009. This style of small car racing also referred to as Power Racing Series, is a non-profit power wheel racing competition. While it is modeled after other racing series, it is done using child-sized electric cars. 

The original Power Racing Series was launched by Jim Burke in 2009. During this first season, only six cars participated and it was much smaller than it is today. Now, you can find power wheel racing competitions held at Maker Faire events all around the country, as well as smaller non-official events. 

How are Power Wheels Modified?

A major part of Power Wheel Racing is modifying the car to go faster and perform better during the race. Of course, this sport is for children so safety is key. However, by amping up the car, racers can go at increased speed and customize the appearance of their car. 

How you modify your Power Wheel is really up to the child’s ability and parental preference. However, some leagues or races will have rules on what is allowed. All official races only allow $500 to be spent on these modifications. 

Complete a Battery Modification 

This is one of the key ways to modify the vehicle and increase the likelihood of winning a race. The battery in most Power Wheels is very basic and is created to move the car at a slow rate. However, these can be replaced with higher-quality batteries that have an increased voltage.

Some cheap and easy ways to increase your Power Wheel speed are:

  • Most Power Wheels come with a 12-volt battery. Simply changing this out to a 24-volt battery will increase speeds substantially.
  • Another way to easily increase speeds is if you have a power tool that has a spare battery. Most of these are 18V or even 20V and can be used in the Power Wheel. 

Regardless of what you decide to do, improving the battery is usually the first step to improving your car overall. 

Update the Electronic Speed Controller

An electric speed controller is essentially a device that tells the battery in the Power Wheel how much power to send to the wheels themselves. This will tell the battery to send more power to the wheels if altered correctly. While some do not update this part of the Power Wheel, it can come in handy during a race.

If you are interested in replacing the ESC, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can build your own kit or you can buy a prebuilt kit. It is important to remember that this will count towards your $500 alteration budget.
  • A great homemade version of an ESC uses a Razor Scooter’s speed controller along with its other parts. This is what many racers use.
  • You want to make sure that you secure any new pedals, connectors, wires, etc. completely to the vehicle. 

By installing an ESC the driver has a more realistic driving experience. By adding this kit, you can more easily control the car and for many, it leads to more wins. 

Customize the Overall Look

While some Power Wheels are very interesting to look at, many racers do customizations to make them their own. This can truly be as involved or as simple as you like. While these modifications may not improve overall racing ability, they can improve the look of the car. 

Some of those who are well versed in the fabrication process can even go as far as to create metal structures that are added to the car. By altering the design,  you can streamline the car and make it more aerodynamic. However, it is important to remember that additional weight can impact speed. 

Some additional ways that you can change the look of the Power Wheel or increase its racing quality are:

  • Adding traction to the tires is a great way to increase wins. The more traction the wheels have the better they perform and the less likely the car is to slip. 
  • While not necessary, one way many change up the Power Wheel is by giving it a lifted look. This can be more expensive, but can lead to improved scores on rougher racing terrain.
  • Some older racers benefit from adding a brake pedal. This can be tricky for younger racers, but some older racers enjoy having a brake pedal for quicker stops. 
  • A fresh coat of paint and some new materials on the inside of the car can also amp up the look of the Power Wheel. These are relatively cheap changes and can make the vehicle more personalized. 

Overall, customization can help you improve Power Wheel performance while also giving it a look that fits your personality.

Upcoming Power Wheel Races

There are a variety of Power Wheel races that you can participate in. Some of these are official races, while others are simply local races that require some research. If you are interested in the official Maker Faire races, they are available in the following areas:

  • San Mateo, CA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • New York, NY
  • Nashville, TN
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Orlando, FL

Those who are interested in racing at local Power Wheel races will need to research their own area and see what is available. It is important to remember that any races your child competes in are safe and professionally held. While this sport can be tons of fun, it can be dangerous if not handled correctly. 

Fulfill Your Child’s Need for Speed with Power Wheel Racing 

If Power Wheel racing is something you feel that your child will enjoy, you can begin by purchasing a Power Wheel that fits your needs. Learn more about local races and requirements for racing. Then it will be time to begin modifications and get ready for the big day.