Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby Information

Below are the detailed official rules that Pack 618 follows for the Pinewood Derby. Especially if you have joined us recently from another pack, please scrutinize these rules closely and follow them. Please remember how important it is for children at this age to learn respect for the rules of competitions, and that winning isn't their only goal. Please ask if you have any questions. Have fun planning and building these with your scout. 

Race Week Details

Weigh-In #1: Saturday, Feb 17, 2–4 PM, Abiding Savior Church

Weigh-In #2: Thursday, Feb 22, 6–8 PM, Abiding Savior Church

You must bring your child's car to be weighed-in, numbered, catalogued, and impounded at one of the two above times. If you are uncertain about how close you are to the approved weight and dimensions, we strongly suggest you come to the first weigh-in, so that if additional modifications need to be made to your child's car, you can try again on the second weigh-in. We will be asking your child for the “name” of the car that we will add to the race software for display during the race, so you might want to have your child thinking about it before you arrive. 

Once weighed-in, your child's car will be kept secure and untouched until racetime in the pack car-rack. If you want to put graphite on the axles, make sure you do it before handing the car over to us. 

Pinewood Derby Race: Saturday, Feb 24, 2 PM, CCES Cafeteria

On the day of the race, you will see a huge spectrum of cars… a handful of kids who were handed a hammer and some markers and left to create their cars on their own, and some that you will swear a parent created with no help from his kid (though we have some very capable scouts, so don't be too quick to judge.) Somewhere in between those extremes is probably the best mix of scout/parental participation. On race day, your scout's car will compete against the other cars in your scout's rank. Several heats will be run, and your scout's car will race at least 2 heats, perhaps more based on the number of entrants. At the end of the event, trophies will be given out to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cars in each rank, as well as one for best design. Every non-trophied participant will receive something for their efforts. 

Pinewood Derby Rules

You or your scout should have already received a small box containing the basics of the car: a block of wood, 4 black plastic wheels, 4 silver nails ("axles"), and a handful of number stickers (which you probably won't use). It is permissible to buy a precut car from Michaels or Hobby Lobby or some other craft shop, but you must use the wheels and axles from the pack-supplied kit. While some of the pre-cut designs are pretty cool looking, we've found that the scouts really enjoy taking an active part in designing and shaping their cars. Some additional help on designing your car can be found at the following BSA page: Lots of additional resources are available on the internet.  Please note that any precut car must meet all of the requirements outlined below--many are in violation of rule 2 as they do not have axle grooves on the bottom of the block--this may make them ineligible for speed awards.  Also note that when considering candidates for design awards, preference will be given to scout fabricated designs.

Race rules

All cars will be run through a series of heats and competition trophies will be awarded based on the average finish time.  If a car should leave the track during a heat, that particular heat will be re-run.  If the same car should leave the track during the repeat heat, or any subsequent heats, those races will only be re-run at the cubmaster's discretion.

Pack 618 Pinewood Derby Car Requirements 

1. You must use the materials in the kits—but you may purchase official colored BSA wheels from the scout store. 

2. The wheels may not be recessed into the sides of the block, and axles must be attached in the grooves provided. 

3. Maintain original ground clearance—no weights or other parts may be surface-mounted on the underside of the wood body in such a way that will interfere or make contact with the track - Our track does allow for a small amount of space between the body of the car and the surface of the track. 

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND NOT mounting weight under the car’s surface. Although many cars have run fine with this sort of weight screwed or glued directly to the bottom of the car: 

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND If you are mounting the weight from below you should rout the bottom like the following images to ensure that your child’s car will run with no problems on our track: 

4. Total Weight must not exceed 5.0 ounces on the Pack’s Designated Scale. 

5. No motors, springs, moving parts (other than wheels), or liquid lubricants allowed. The only allowed lubricant is the dry graphite kind. 

6. The diameter and tread width and shape of the wheels may not be changed. 

7. The car must not exceed 7.00 inches long (front to back) or 2.75 inches wide (axle to axle). 

If the cars do not meet the Pack rules at check-in, you will be advised of any rules violations. Cars outside of weight limits cannot be entered. Cars with other violations may be raced if you do not have the ability to adjust, but will not be eligible for any of the trophies (including design awards). Please contact Charlie Beard ( if you have any questions about this great event. 

Open Race

We have a new race category where many of the official rules are not enforced.  The open race is available to any participant (including parents).