Pinewood Derby

/Pinewood Derby
Pinewood Derby 2017-08-25T21:43:53+00:00

Timeline of Events:

Build Day: February 17th from 11 am to 1 pm at Gary’s house

Build Day: March 3rd from 11 am to 1 pm at Gary’s house

Race Day: March 10th at Ridgeline Community Church.  Check in starts at 10 am

Basic Guidelines

  1. The car shall be newly built for the current Cub Scouting year.
  1. BSA wheels and axels must be used. No exceptions.
  1. Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces via the official scale. No exceptions.
  1. Do not turn in cars with wet paint.
  1. At least 3 wheels must be touching the track.
  1. Check your car before the race to make sure it passes inspection!
  1. The Pinewood Derby is a gravity race. As such, all cars are expected to be self-powered in a traditional downhill race style – no motors, sails or shifting weights for propulsion.

Your Cub Scout, with some adult guidance, should build the car  in accordance with the basic

BSA rules and those of Pack 788 below. Each registered Cub Scout will receive an official Pinewood Derby Kit from the Pack with plenty of time to build his car.


Detailed Specifications


  1. Car body:  The body of the car should be made from wood provided in the official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit.

2.  Width Overall:  Width shall not exceed 2.75 inches. The minimum width between the wheels are 1.75 inches. This will allow the car to fit on a center guide track.

  1. Length:  Overall length shall not exceed 7.00 inches.
  1. Wheelbase:  The wheelbase must be 4 5/16 inches as supplied and predrilled.
  1. Clearance:  The minimum ground clearance is 3/8 inches. This prevents contact between the car body and the track during the race and allows it to compete on a center guide track.
  1. Weight total:  Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces rounded to the tenths place. The Post Office or supermarket can weigh your car but an “official” scale will be used at Check-in.

7.       Weights shall be passive, i.e. non-movable, nonmagnetic, nonelectric, non-sticky, etc. All weights must be securely fastened to the car by permanent glue, nails or screws, but not by sticky substances such as tape or tack spray. This is to prevent sticky substances from getting onto the track surface and affecting race conditions.

  1. Height:  The car shall not exceed 3 ½ inches in height in order to pass through the finish line.
  1. Shape:  The car may be carved to any desired shape provided it meets the above specifications. The car can be built up using additional wood plastic or metal. The nose of the car must be approximately ½ inch in width at the center line to properly rest on the start gate and no part of the nose may protrude beyond the start gate to ensure an even start.
  1. Design details:  All details such as steering wheel, driver, decals, painting and adding of materials are encouraged as long as these details are securely attached to the car and do not exceed the maximum length, width, height and weight specifications.
  1. Design:  Scouts are encouraged to design their car not only for speed but creativity. The car can be shaped to look like an animal, army tank, fire engine, pickup truck etc.

Wheels, Axles and Lubrication 

  1. These components are the heart of fair play in this contest. The materials in the kit conform to the basic specification.
  1. Axles.  The axles of the car must be from the official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit or an official Pinewood Derby Wheel Replacement Kit or BSA high performance kit. Axles must be firmly attached to the car. No suspension system of any other type is permitted.
  1. Wheels:  The wheels of the car must be from the official BSA Pinewood Derby Kit or an official BSA Pinewood Derby Wheel Replacement Kit or BSA High Performance kit.
  1. Mold projection defects on wheel treads may be removed by sanding lightly.
  1. May not be crowned, they must be flat and cannot be narrowed.
  1. The official wheel width is 0.415 inches and they must have a flat tread surface of at least 5/16 inches.
  1. The decorative dots on the wheel sidewall or the words “BSA Pinewood Derby” may not be removed.
  1. No bearings, washers, bushings or spacers are to be used as part of the wheel assembly or within the wheel cavities.
  1. No wheel covers are allowed on the inside or outside of the wheel.
  1. Graphite, Teflon or other coating is permitted on the exterior flat tread portion of the wheel.
  1. Lubrication Only dry lubricant is permitted. This rule is important to keep the track in good race condition for all racers.
  1. Warning!  Other lubricants may damage the plastic wheels and keep them from turning freely and possibly damage the track.

Check In Day 

  1. Each car must pass inspection by the Official Race Committee on check-in day at World Compass Academy on March 11, 2017, from 9:30 am until 10:00 am.  The scale used at the race is the official scale, and all cars meet weight on the official scale.
  1. If a car does not pass inspection, the racer will be informed of the problem and given time to fix it.  Some tools will be available on site to correct problems.  You can bring your owns tolls to fix the problem.
  1. All cars will be issued a number once it passes inspection. The number will be a small adhesive dot or decal placed on the rear section of the car. Doing so will ensure easy identification as well as proper direction of travel. Cars will be stored until the race.
  1. Any car that cannot pass inspection and/or is disqualified prior to the race may be allowed to participate in the events, but will not be eligible for race awards. The car may still receive a category award.
  1. After technical inspection the car will be impounded until the races.


Pinewood Derby Race

1.  After inspections, the races will begin with each den grouped together.  Races will begin in this order Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos.  The first race will begin at promptly 10:45 am.  There will be multiple heats per den to ensure that everyone gets a chance to race.


  1. A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophy award will be given within each den based on the fastest cumulative times.   Those who don’t receive a den trophy will receive a medal.
  1. An overall pack race will take place for overall fastest cumulative time, which will be the overall top ten finishers. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.


  1. A 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophy award will be given for best designed cars. Scouts and pack leadership will be eligible to vote.  


Official Race Committee 

1.  The Official Race Committee will be composed of Michael Brumbaugh, John DiFelice, Chris Start, RJ Strawn and Dan Palermo.  The Official Race Committee will have the final say on issues prior to the race and during the race.

  1. Only race officials will place cars on the track.
  1. The Pinewood Derby Committee may disqualify any car that in their determination, the car, racer, or parent are not in compliance with the spirit of the Pinewood Derby race.
  1. Decisions of the Official Race Committee are final.

Race Conduct


  1. The Pinewood Derby is meant to be a fun day for the Scouts.  One of the characteristics highlighted by the Cub Scouts is sportsmanship.  Good sportsmanship and fair play is expected.  A race format will be used to ensure all racers are treated equally.
  1. Cheer for all racers. They have all worked hard to do their best.
  1. Any unsportsmanlike conduct by the racer or the parent will be grounds for immediate disqualification.
  1. The racers and race fans shall not interfere in any way with disqualifications.
  1. There shall be no interference with the timers, timing table or race equipment during the race.