There's nothing wrong with wanting to build the fastest pinewood derby car you can. But it is important to remember why the Pinewood Derby races exists. The Pinewood Derby was started to promote learning, competition, and sportsmanship.
Learning is an important part of the pinewood derby races. The Cub Scout should not only learn about such concepts as friction and gravity, but they should learn how to work with power tools safely. Depending on the experience of the Cub Scout, it may be necessary for adult supervision while building the pinewood derby car. This is a great way for an adult and a Cub Scout to spend time together.
In competition, there is always a person that wins and a person that loses. Competition drives us to do our best. By participating and competing, we broaden our knowledge, skills, and become a better person. The only loser is the person that refuses to better him or herself.
Sportsmanship involves both following the rules and how you behave at the pinewood derby. No matter how your car performs, you want to behave in a manner that will allow you to feel good in days to follow.
1. The Pinewood Derby Committee has final say or interpretation of all rules and regulations.
2. All cars must pass inspection to qualify for the race. The inspection points are as follows:
a) The car must have been made during the current year (the year in which the derby is held).
b) The width of the car shall not exceed 2 3/4 inches.
c) The length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
d) The weight of the car shall not exceed 5 ounces (5.0000).
e) The wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles) may NOT be changed from the kit body distance of 4-1/4”.
f) Axles, wheels, and body wood shall be as provided in the BSA kit. Only Official Scout Grand Prix wheels and axles can be used. Wheels maybe slightly sanded to remove the mold projection form the tread. This light sanding is the only wheel modification allowed. Beveling, tapering, wafering, or lathe turning of the wheels is prohibited (The ribs on the wheel sides MUST remain intact).
g) Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
h) The car shall not ride on any kind or type of springs.
i) Any details added must be within length, width, and weight limits.
j) The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices or other propulsion.
k) No loose materials of any kind (such as lead shot) are allowed in the car.
l) The front end of the car must rest against the ‘car side’ of the starting pin. No portion of the car can be past the ‘car side’ of the starting pin.
3. Car weigh-in and inspections will be done on the Friday before Derby Day from 6 pm to 8 pm. Once a car has met the weight requirements and passed inspection, the car will be officially checked-in. Once a car has been officially checked-in, the car will not be handled by the driver until his car is ready to race in his first race. The cars will remain locked-up in the Hudson United Methodist Church overnight. On race day the cars will be moved by Pinewood Derby Race Officials to the Pit Area.
4. Before the Derby, the drivers will be allowed in the Pit Area to review and vote on the cars for various categories (Most Aerodynamic, Best Design, etc.)
5. Prior to racing in his first race, each driver will be allowed to apply lubricant to his wheels and axles in the pit area only. A table in the pit area will be set-up for this purpose. Only dry powered lubrication, such as graphite, maybe used.
6. Each heat will be announced. Drivers will report to the starting line and hand their car one at a time to the starter who will place the cars on the track in their assigned lane. All other people must remain behind the barrier.
7. The starter will make sure the cars are on the track properly and than will start the race.
8. The drivers will then report to the finish line to see the results of the race.
9. The car whose nose is over the finish line first is the winner. The track timer will determine the first-, second-, third-place winners.
10. If a car leaves the track but does not interfere with the other cars, it will be allowed a second run by itself to record a time.
11. If a car leaves the track, runs out of its lane, interferes with another car, loses an axle, etc., the heat will be rerun. If the same car gets into trouble on the second run, the contestant is disqualified and automatically loses that race. If, on the second run, another car is interfered with, the heat will be run a third time but without the disqualified car.
12. After the results of each heat are recorded, the drivers will take their cars and return them to the Pit Area and then return to their seats.
13. If a car suffers a mechanical problem, loss of an axle, breaks a wheel, etc. during a race and a repair can be made in a reasonable amount of time, the heat will run again. If not, the car will automatically lose the heat.
14. Cars are not to leave the race track area at any time. If a car gets damaged during a race, all repairs must be done in the pit area. Pinewood Derby Officials will be required to inspect any car after repairs have been made to any damaged car. If necessary the car will have to be re-weighed to insure that it does not exceed the maximum weight limit. If a driver takes his car out of the pit area or the race track area anytime during the derby, he will be disqualified.
15. Awards will be announced shortly after the heat for which the awards are to be given. The drivers and their partners will report to the stage for the awards as their names are called.
16. The total of number of heats will depend on the number of participants.
17. The 12 fastest racers will move on the finals. The 12 fastest racers will be determined by adding the combined total race times from each car's initial 3 races (once in each lane). The 12 lowest combined times will advance to the final. The top 3 overall winners will be determined by adding the combined times from the final round. Note that the only purpose for running the finals round is to determine the top 3 overall racers. The finals round times do not apply to the top 3 racers in each den. Regardless of a racer's times in the finals round, only his times earned in the initial round apply toward the den awards. This is done because not all racers make it to the finals and have a chance to improve their times.
18. Den winners will be determined after the overall top 3 racers are determined. The overall top 3 finishers cannot also win top den awards.
19. Awards will be presented at the end of the Pinewood Derby.
Trophies will be awarded to the following:
a. Overall 1st Place Finish
b. Overall 2nd Place Finish
c. Overall 3rd Place Finish
d. Den 1st Place Finish (A total of 5)
e. Den 2nd Place Finish (A total of 5)
f. Den 3rd Place Finish (A total of 5)
g. Various Trophies based on cars design (To be determined by the scouts) (Only cars that did not win a place trophy will be eligible for these trophies)
h. All other participants will receive a ‘Participation Trophy’
The top three finishers of the Pack will be invited to the District Pinewood Derby Meet to be held in April (location TBD).
May the best car win!