Pinewood Derby

The 2021 Pinewood Derby will be March 24, 2021

All about the Pinewood Derby

The pinewood derby is a time-honored and traditional annual racing event for unpowered, unmanned miniature car that the Scouts (with help from an adult) build from wood, using kits containing a block of pine wood, plastic wheels, and metal axles.

The first pinewood derby was held on May 15, 1953 at the Scout House in Manhattan Beach, California and continues every year in cubscout packs around the country.

Below are the rules for pack 121's pinewood derby rules and a video with tips on how to build a fast car.

PACK 121 Pinewood Derby Rules

1. The car must have been made for this year’s race. Previous year cars cannot be entered.

2. The wood provided in the Official BSA Pinewood Derby Car kit must be used. The block may be shaped any way that is desired.

3. The wheels supplied with the kit (or other BSA-approved wheels) must be used. Open-spoke wheels are prohibited. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seam from the wheels, but the surface of the wheel that touches the track must be left flat.

4. The axles supplied with the kit must be used. They may be polished or lubricated. One-piece wheel-to-wheel axles are prohibited.

5. Wheel bearings, washers or bushings are prohibited.

6. The car must not ride on any type of springs.

7. The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices.

8. No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, may be used.

9. The maximum car length shall not exceed 7 inches.

10. The maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches.

11. The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels, side to side. This is to ensure the car will clear the center guide strip on the track. There is no min/max distance between front and rear axles, as long as the cars overall length doesn’t exceed 7 inches.

12. The car must have 3/8 of an inch underneath the body. This is to ensure the car will clear the center guide strip on the track.

13. The maximum weight of the car shall not exceed 5 ounces. Though the car’s check-in weight may differ from that of your own scale, the official 3 Rivers District scale is considered final,.

a. Weights can be used. Moving weights are prohibited.

b. Weights that become dislodged during racing will not be reattached.

14. Only dry lubricant may be used. Liquid lubricants are prohibited. All wheel lubrication must be done prior to check in.

15. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it will be allowed to compete. The Inspection Committee has the responsibility to disqualify those cars that do not meet these specifications.

a. A staffed “pit” will be set up to make minor revisions to race cars as necessary -- attaching loose pieces, reducing/adding weight, reducing length, etc.

16. Once qualified, the car stays in control of the racing committee until the end of the race. No adjustments may be made after a car qualifies for the race.