Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby: February 29, 2020

The Pinewood Derby is open to all Scouts registered with Pack 502. This is a fun event designed to entertain with fair and casual competition among the scouting. Sportsmanship and good citizenship are taught by following the Derby rules and cheering on fellow Scouts as they race. Shaping raw wood into an original design can help scouts discover the benefits of personal achievement through their efforts, and they’ll learn perseverance and tenacity can overcome creative challenges. There are always multiple paths to success, so please provide your scout with support while they participate in this activity. Building a Pinewood Derby car is a great learning experience that can be shared by the Scout and their Akela over many hours.

Derby Car Specifications
  • Weight – 5 Ounces or less
  • Dimensions – 2-3/4″ wide by 7″ long
  • Minimum width between wheels – 1-3/4”
  • Minimum bottom clearance underneath the body (so it does not rub on the track guide) – 3/8″
Building Rules
  • Cars should be built by the Cub Scouts with some adult guidance. Any technical assistance should be fully explained to the Cub Scout so that he can use that knowledge on future projects. Tool use should be age-appropriate. Please employ good safety practices.
  • Cars entered into the race should be crafted from a standard BSA block kit. Kits can be purchased from the Pack or Scout Shop for $4.50. Pre-cut designs created by third parties should not be submitted.
  • Only official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. Wheel bearings, washers, bushings, or springs are prohibited. Seams and imperfections can be removed from the wheels or axles as part of clean-up and polishing. The words “Official B.S.A. Made in U.S.A.” and other lettering on the wheels must be intact and visible.
  • Only dry lubricants such as graphite will be allowed.
  • All four wheels must touch the ground across the full width of each wheel; three-wheel designs are prohibited.
  • The entire car must stage behind the starting pin. Inset front ends are not allowed. No part of the car should extend out in front of the starting pin.
  • Accelerants and propellants are not permitted, e.g. springs, bands, jet packs, etc.
  • Decorative details such as steering wheels, drivers, or theme elements are allowed as long as these additions do not exceed the design standards for racing. Additions do not have to be made of wood.
Entry Details
  • Each Scout may enter one car.
  • A name should be provided for the entry, ex. “Fireball.”
  • Cars from past races are not permitted.
  • Each car must pass inspection before it may compete. If a car does not pass inspection, the Scout and parent will be informed of the reason, and they will have the opportunity to fix the problem while the remaining weigh-ins are being completed that evening. After final approval, cars are collected and secured until the race day. No further changes or additions can be made to a car after turn-in
Competition Categories
  • Speed: Scouts compete for the fastest car within each Den. The six Den winners and the next 2 fastest cars overall re-compete for the fastest car in the Pack. Lowest total time across each set of heats determines the winner in each Den/Pack category.
  • Fastest Looking: Where style is more important than track performance.
  • Most Patriotic: Display your colors with tributes to the USA, the troops, history, flags, or any other patriotic theme.
  • Most Scout-Like: Highlight scouting in any form. Themes such as camping, the law, motto, emblems, and Den animals are popular options.
  • Most Texan: Show your Texas pride with a state-themed car.

If there are any unforeseen circumstances during the race, the Race Official will use their best judgement to resolve the matter. The decisions of the Race Official are final.

Turn-in is February 20, 2020 at the Thursday pack meeting prior to Race Day. Cars are impounded until Race Day.

The Pinewood Derby begins at 12pm for setup and 2pm for racing on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the McGimsey Sports Pavilion (past the pool on the left, across from the Dining Hall).

Non-competitive racing will be available after the main event is completed. Cars produced by parents, non-scout siblings, or by scouts who did not formally enter their cars in the Pinewood competition will be able to run their vehicles on the track. These races are for entertainment purposes. There will be no awards issued.
A variety of additional crafting and decorative supplies/tools are available from the Scout Shop, local hobby shops, and hardware stores. Please use only official BSA kits as the foundation for your car.

Derby Rules PDF

Race Physics Explained