Pinewood Derby

The Pinewood Derby is one of the Cub Scouts' most beloved activities!  

For those new to Scouting, it goes like this.  Each Scout starts off with a block of wood and four simple wheels.  With a little help (well, maybe sometimes more than just a little!) from family or friends, the Scout gets to make his car as he envisions.   The project is a fun way for Scouts to be creative, to learn how to work together with others, and to develop building and/or wood-working skills.  The car often becomes a treasured keepsake for most Scouts -- many a Scouting dad has fond memories of racing their Pinewood Derby car as a kid.

The cars in each Cub Scout pack are raced together, with the speed winners in each pack facing the winners from other packs in the council.  Pack 200 awards trophies for the First, Second, and Third place finishers in the speed contest, as well as awards for Most Creative, Best Design, and Best Cub Scout Spirit.  Trophies are awarded for each Cub Scout level (i.e. Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelo I, Webelo II).  But the real prize that each Scout wins is priceless -- creative fun, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and memories that may last a lifetime.

Pack 200 Pinewood Derby Rules, consistent with Seven Rivers District Rules

Parents should provide advice, instruction, and should handle any tools that are sharp, or beyond the familiarity of your son. Scouts should do as much of the construction and finishing as possible.
o Cars must be newly constructed for this year’s event from an official kit. If you need another kit, only Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Car (no. 1662) from the BSA is acceptable
o Cars shall be free-wheeling with no starting devices – gravity powered ONLY


o Max. overall width (outside edge to edge of wheels) is 2 ¾”
o Min. width between wheels is 1 ¾” to fit the track
o Wheelbase – distance between axels can be changed as long as the wheels do not exceed the maximum length
o Max. length = 7”
o Max. height = 3”
o Track clearance = min. 3/8” from bottom of car to track
o Front of car: no part of car can extend beyond starting post
o Max. weight = 5 oz.
o The min. diameter of the wheel must be 1.170 inches
HINT: Pinewood derby cars are gravity driven. Make your car as close to the 5 ounce weight limit as possible. Test your weight at the post office or on Friday night, Jan. 27 at the race site from 6 – 8 pm.
HINT: cars with very narrow noses can have problems covering the finish line sensors because these sensors select the finish order based on the sequence in which the light sensors are activated not necessarily on the order the cars cross the finish line. A narrow nose can slide past the sensor until a wider part of the car (axel) covers the sensor and registers the finish.

o Paint, decals, decorations allowed as long as they are Cub Scout appropriate
o Pre-cut design bodies will NOT be allowed to race
o Purchasing of completed cars, modified wheels or axles is prohibited

o Max. 5 oz. (block of wood is approximately 3.4 oz)
o Weights must be securely fastened to the car (permanent glue, nails or screws but not by tape or tack spray). Weights must NOT be taped on (masking or duct). Heavy duty double back tape such as that used by the ones sold by the BSA – stick on weights (WW7603) are NOT allowed
o No liquid weights permitted. Weights shall be passive (non-moveable, non-magnetic, non-electric, non-sticky)
o Weight can be added or subtracted during inspection, but no weights can be added after the car has been impounded.

o Cars must have 4 wheels attached from official kit
o Wheels shall turn about the axle nails from the official kit. It must be obvious to the judges that the wheels and nails from the kit are being used
o Only official BSA wheels and axles may be used as replacements
o Hubcap, wheel covers, washers, inserts, sleeves, bushing, or bearings are NOT allowed
o Axle nails shall be firmly affixed to the wood of the car body. Axles may be modified or polished. Axles created to appear similar to official axles, or are manufactured from a different raw material and shaped to conform to the dimensions of the official BSA nails/axels are NOT allowed. No chromed or nickel-plated axles permitted. Axles cannot be grooved or notched
o Wheels may be modified or sanded to remove molding burrs as long as tread smoothing and polishing does not result in substantially reducing the wheel width from the original kit wheels. The min. diameter of the wheel must be 1.170 inches. The words BSA Pinewood Derby and some of the original “tread marks” on the wheel face must remain intact and visible to the inspector. Wheels may not be machined to a beveled condition and the portion of the wheel surface that contacts the track must remain parallel to the axel.

o Wheels and axels may be lubricated with DRY POWDERED LUBRICANT only prior to registration. No liquid lubricants accepted.

o No loose materials or parts are permitted
o Cars with wet paint will not be accepted

1. Scouts should come early to register and weigh in on the official scale. Adjustments are allowed until starting time. There will be a lubrication table set up at the race with some tools available.
2. Cars are then officially registered and impounded. Cars will be assigned a number, these numbers are used by the racing software to assign tracks. Cars will race on all 4 tracks, against (mostly) different cars in each race, assigned by the software.
3. Once impounded, handling of the cars by contestants is not allowed during the race except for repairs discussed below. Cars are returned after they are finished racing.
4. Once the race begins, no late entries allowed.
5. If a wheel falls off or if the car becomes otherwise damaged, the scout may have 5 minutes to perform repairs (time may be extended by the Trackmaster). The race results where the problem occurred stands--there will be no do-overs. Cars shall be re-inspected after repairs are completed.
6. If a contestant's car jumps the track without being interfered with by another car in the race, the jumped car loses that race. The race will not be rerun.
7. If a contestant's car is damaged by another car which has jumped the track, or by an accident while being handled by Pack officials, the damaged car can be repaired with assistance and the car will be assigned to a later race. If the car is not repairable, the contestant will be awarded a third place finish.
8. All decisions of the Pack Committee Chairman, Cubmaster, and the Assistant Cubmaster are FINAL!