Pinewood Derby

Official Pack 617 Rules for PINEWOOD DERBY 2019

January 26th 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM - South Lebanon Elementary Gymnasium, 

50 Ridgeview Ln, Maineville, OH 45039

Car Check In at Lakeview Church:

January 8 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

January 9 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Cub Scouts have been building their own cars and competing in Pinewood Derby® events since 1953! At the heart of this event's success is the process itself — bonds are strengthened as the Cub Scout partners with a parent or adult mentor to design, carve, paint, weigh, refine, and race the car. In addition, Cub Scouts build confidence and take pride in their own growing skills and hard work.


“Pinewood Derby is the Super Bowl of Cub Scouting.”
— Chad Toennis, Committee Chair

"This was great!!!"
Every Cub Scout there ever was about Pinewood Derby.


No weights can hang below the car.  This means if you want weight on the bottom you will have to carve out the bottom of the car and make the weight flush with the bottom of the wood.  Other options are to put the weights on top or side but make sure to not exceed the Width stated in the rules below.



RACE FORMAT:  Each car will race four times, once on each lane.  The boy whose car is in lane 1 will push the button to start the race.  The four boys whose cars are racing will be called to sit in the front during their car’s race.  All scoring will be done on the computer by our race MC, Mike Sprowl.  His decisions will be final.  There will be four heats.  Given the size of our pack expect about 20-25 races per heat which should take about 20 minutes per heat.   Between heats there is a 5-10 minute intermission to stage cars for the next heat and allow the boys to run and play.

RACE DIVISIONS & AWARDS:  Divisions will be determined day of race grouping similar aged boys together.  Normally one division per rank although we will likely just make each den its own division.  The top 3 places in each division will be awarded a medal.  The overall pack winner will receive a trophy.  All participants will receive a patch.   Entire pack races together against a timer.  Divisions are only used at the end for presenting awards.  Siblings and friends will be scored in their own division, but do not receive awards.


New Car:  The car must be constructed in the current school year by the Scout racing it with assistance from any Akela (parents, siblings, friends, relatives).   This is an honor system as we can’t inspect for this.   Previously built cars by the Scout, sibling, friend, Ebay, etc are not permitted.   If you are not able to help your child build a car, contact your den leader or cubmaster, in advance, and we will work with the Scout to build a car.  Please just don’t wait till the night before the race.

Body:  The body in the official BSA Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit (The Kit) must be used.  It can be shaped, hollowed out or built up as long as it meets all other specifications.  Any additions to the body (driver, weights, etc) must be firmly attached.  Official BSA preshaped kits can be purchased at the scout achievement center but kits from hobby stores and the internet should be avoided.

Front Design:  The forward most part of the car must contact the starting pin, which is centered in each lane near the highest point of the track.  The starting pin extends 1 inch up from the tracks surface.  Cars may not extend over or beyond the starting point.

Car Specifications.  Width - 2 ¾ inches, Length - not to exceed 7 inches, Weight – not to exceed 5 Ounces (per the official scales at time of registration).  The car width at the wheels may not be modified.  They must be the same as the original kit.

Wheels:  Wheels and nails must be as furnished in The Kit.  No single axles, washers, bushings, rubber tubing, or springs allowed.  Wheels may be sanded to remove the flashing only.  No reduction in their width, diameter, or in their shape are allowed.

Axles:  The precut axle slots must be used (making them square is allowed if needed). It must be obvious to the judges that the wheels and the nails from the kit are being used.

Lubricants:  Graphite is the only approved lubricant!  Final applications of graphite are permitted up to the time of the car’s impoundment at registration.

Numbers:  Car numbers will be assigned during registration and a label with this number will be affixed to the top of each car.

Other:  Cars must freewheel with no stored energy or movable weights.   Any piece that falls off a car during racing will remain off the car for the rest of the event.  Only exception is a part critical to make the car run (i.e. a wheel) which can be repaired without disrupting the racing.  The race director may use his judgment in enforcing the rules.
Breakdowns:  If a piece falls off a car after check-in, it will remain off the car for the rest of the derby.  Exceptions will be very simple repairs  made by race committee or if the car is damaged such that it can't race anymore, the Scout and an adult of his choice may be granted time to perform the repair provided it is completed before the car's next scheduled race.  The Race Committee has the final say on allowing or disallowing any repairs.



Bring your numbers than came with your car to check-in and we will help you put your assigned number on your car properly so that it can be easily read by those running the event.



Registration will take place at time and location listed at the top of this rules list.   Cars will be officially weighed, measured and inspected for their compliance with the official rules.  Should there be the need for any last minute adjustments, a worktable will be provided.  If you are adding a final touch of graphite, please apply over a garbage can or outside.    Some spare tools / parts will be brought by the pack, and we will assist Scouts as best as reasonably possible with any last minute modifications to make sure they can race.  It is still ultimately the Scout and his family's responsibility to comply with the rules and be ready to race.   We need to volunteers to help at the repair table.  If you have tools and are handy, this is a great way to help the pack.  You will be done before racing starts.  Your help will ensure another boy will have a much more enjoyable event.

Once your car has been registered and assigned a number your vehicle will be impounded by the Pinewood Derby officials and you will not be able to make adjustments to it.  You must arrive by the time listed above!!!!   We will begin racing as soon as every car is ready.



Scouting encourages good sportsmanship.  Cars WILL be disqualified if the Scout or parents display unsportsmanlike conduct at the race site.  Remember it is all about having fun.   Unfortunately at an event like this with scoring, many boys will be disappointed at not finishing higher or their car not looking as nice as another car.  Assist your Pack Leaders at emphasizing the fun of building a car and taking time to play with friends at the event, and please don't drag your son over to look at the scores if he isn't interested.


Looking forward to having a great day.  See you at the Races!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Subpages (1): Pinewood Derby FAQ