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Pinewood Derby

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Here are the rules for those new to the Pinewood Derby. These are substantially the same rules as last year for those with experience.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Have fun making a new car for this year’s race.
  2. Please use the parts that came with the kit (no high-tech replacement parts or substitutions). You are allowed to purchase official replacement BSA parts if you wish (available at the Scout Store).
  3. Feel free to shape, paint and decorate your car in any way you want.  Use your imagination.
  4. Please make your car number visible on the FRONT TOP of the car so that it’s plainly visible.
  5. Make sure your car is strong enough to race and get dropped (as accidents sometimes happen).

REGULATIONS

The following conservative regulations are to insure that the competition is fair, enjoyable, and that winners of our competition will fall within the rules set for the District Pinewood Derby. (The Sons of Liberty District race will be held in March)

  1. Cars must be new for this race and must be presented at the race by the person who made it – one car per person. (The idea is to have the scout and parent working together and to have the scout present for the race. We have made exceptions for extenuating circumstances only.)
  2. Cars must be no longer than 7 inches.
  3. Cars must be no wider than 2.75 inches.
  4. Cars must be no higher than 3 inches (this is a Sons of Liberty District rule for their race).
  5. Cars may weigh a MAXIMUM of 5 ounces (be sure your car’s weight is no more than 5 ounces or else be prepared to modify the car on race day).
  6. All four wheels must touch the track. No deliberate design to have the car run with one wheel “floating”. (This is a Council rule to assure fair play.)
  7. No part of the car is allowed to protrude ahead of the “launch peg”. (E.g., wheels, body parts, etc. – it gives that car an unfair advantage).
  8. Cars must maintain a bottom clearance of 3/8″ (nothing can stick down below the car – the Sons of Liberty District Track has a middle-guide that fits between the wheels on the track).
  9. Cars must maintain an inside wheel to wheel clearance of at least 1 ¾ (1.75) inches (so that the car doesn’t hit the middle-guide on the District track).
  10. Only dry lubricants are allowable as an axle lubricant. No wet lubricants.
  11. It is permissible to sand the plastic “flange” off the wheels and to smooth the axles. No other modifications are permitted (e.g., there are lots of “hacks” like bushings, springs, etc. that give an unfair advantage and are not appropriate for Scout-level competition).
  12. No moving parts on the car other than the wheels (no spring or loose lead weights or other movable mechanisms).

DECIDING THE WINNER

There are five separate classes: one for each Scout rank: Tigers, Wolves, Bears, WEBELOS I, WEBELOS II. Scouts enter their car in their class. Each car runs once in each lane. The winner for each class is the car with the shortest time on any lane. There are four lanes, each car runs once in each lane and the fastest car in any lane wins for that class.

Winner in each Scout class represents our pack at the Sons of Liberty (SOL) District Pinewood Derby. For a full set of the District rules, see the (very detailed) Pack and District rules.

We will also have a “Family and Friends” class for siblings and others that want to race. If there are enough entrants, we may also have a “Masters” class (serious racers – usually adults).

After all the racing is complete, we usually have an open race time – anyone can pit their car against other cars in a loosely organized free-for-all.  We usually limit this to about 20-30 minutes, but it is greatly loved by all the scouts and siblings and friends (who might not get a chance to race each other in the formal part of the race.

HINTS

Use the axle slots provided with the original kit, you can not move them. The original placement is very good.

Make sure that any attachments (drivers, fins, etc.) are secure. Use good glue or small nails to insure that they stay attached to the car.

Make sure your name is on your car (e.g., on the underside) so there’s no confusion.

Make sure that the wheels turn freely and are on square. This helps the car roll straight.  All four wheels must touch the table upon inspection.

On the whole, the kit with paint-job weighs about 5 ounces. So you don’t need to add weights unless you take away a lot of the wood block.

You can use anything for weights, and the scout-shop sells official weights which can be “broken off” to get “just the right weight”.

Have fun!

The Pack 313 Racing Team

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© 2017 Cub Scout Pack 313 - Boy Scouts of America
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