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Pinewood Derby 2021

posted Jan 20, 2021, 6:31 AM by Matt Wagner
Ladies and Gentlemen start your engines. The Pack 30 Pinewood Derby is about to begin. Each year we host a Derby Day where our Scouts compete for the fastest or most stylish cars in the Pack. This year we handed out cars in December and race them in February, giving you two months to carve, sand and paint your car so that it’s ready for race day.

Attached to your car is our specification sheet and below are the rules and regulations, which we will use during the inspection day to ensure your car is “street legal”. This assures uniform weight and that the car will run down the track without issue. You have been assigned a number already. Please make sure that appears on your car. Also, please read ALL of the rules below, and read through the specification sheet. It speeds up the registration process if everyone comes prepared.

We will be holding the Pinewood Derby virtually this year, due to COVID. We are working with Troop 4 who runs our race to set up a virtual meeting where everyone will be able to log in online. The race will be run in the morning of the 6th, but all cars will need to be turned in earlier so we can get them to Troop 4 to run. We are still working on the exact timeline, but are planning to have a weigh in session mid-week leading up to the race. Please keep an eye out for more on that in the next few days.

If you have not yet worked on your pinewood derby car and need help with cutting your car, the Scout Shop is offering free pinewood derby cutting day on January 30th, but does require a sign up. Please see the below from the scout shop website. 

PINEWOOD DERBY season is coming. We have everything you need to rev up your car. Ask an associate about FREE Pinewood Derby car cutting days January 9th, 2021 and 30th, 2021 10 am to 1:45 pm at the Scout Shop. 15 minute time slots will be offered. Sign up today, call the Potawatomi Scout Shop at 262-446-5155

I know how exciting it can be to build a car as an adult, but I implore you to please let your Scout do most of the work on this project. It is much more meaningful for them, and you will be surprised at the skill and creativity they bring to this project. Even if it’s just a block of wood with wheels going down the track, it’s theirs and they will be proud of it. If, however, you really want to build your own car, or your Scout’s other siblings want a chance to compete, kits are available for purchase. They are $3.99 and the pack usually has a few extras. Otherwise they are available at the Scout Shop on Bluemound Rd. or at Sherper’s (call to ensure they’re in stock).

If you have never done this before or are looking for more resources, I recommend the following resources to help you build your car:
  • The scout shop will typically have an open test day around January 30, from 9:30am to 12:30pm, at the scout office. They will have a track set up for testing your car as well as a scale to test weights. Call before hand if you are planning on going. The scout office also has some great accessories (decals, tools, weights). So, check it out if you have a chance. Menards also has a great selection of accessories, lubricants and weights at good prices. 
  • If you’re looking for more ideas, please check out one of the Lowe’s events as well. has the details. There is a fun template program on their Web site that will let you print out one of several choices of car style. Some do not conform to our rules, so be careful. Check with the local Lowes as the website says Derby Days is set for Jan. 14th as well.
  • There are some great sites on the Internet on the science behind the Pinewood derby. Check out these links if you have not seen them yet to provide you with that extra 'edge' when creating your car. (Again, please note you need to follow our rules about wheels and weights, not the suggested methods to make your car faster).
    Boys' Life - How to Use Science to make a Fast Pinewood Derby car.
    Boys' Life - How to make a fast pinewood derby car.
  • Remember, you don't need a woodworking shop to make your car (although it does speed the process). Hand tools work just as well. Just remember to design your car first, apply the markings to the block of wood and cut as much away as possible before sanding. If you still have questions or need help, please contact your Den leaders or other committee members.
  • Lastly, this is a fun project for your Scout to work on. Provide help where necessary, but remember, it's more rewarding if they do most of the work themselves.

The following are the rules and regulations for our race. These were not put here to take the fun out of the event, but instead, to make the race fair for everyone. Also, if you win the Pack 30 event, your car is eligible to race at the Council level. These rules are followed there as well.

If you have questions on any of this, please ask. We just want to have a good time and be fair to all.

Matt Wagner,
Jan 20, 2021, 6:31 AM