Understanding QCW Design

For the Journeyman, OneFinity chose
5 slabs of 8 3/4 MDF with track in-between

and on the outer edges 2, 1 5/8 stripe of MDF.
It’s not specified but I think the width of the tracks is 3/4") which seems to be standard.

I’m curious why the slab is not 9" (instead of 8 3/4") so that outer 9" slabs would basically define the max cutting range? and the outer t track would be outside the max cutting range?

I’m asking because I’m working on my wasteboard design and was hoping to gain some insights before I made these final cuts.

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