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Pinewood Derby Rules

Race Day:
Your car must pass inspection according to our rules. If your car does not pass inspection by the specified time, you will not be allowed entry.

Race format “Perfect N”:

  1. Each car will race 3 heats, one time in each lane (3 lane track). If 4 lanes are used, then each car will race 4 heats.
  2. Equality of opposition is optimized. No head-to-head match up count exceeds another by more than 1.
  3. Heats will consist of cars from different dens.

Placement will be based on TIME, not points. Each car’s worst time will be discarded. It is possible that you can win all heats that you competed in, but not place due to cars having faster times in other heats.

Championship Round:
The top n times in the pack, regardless of den standings, will advance to the final round. The number of cars advancing will be determined by the scheduling software on race day, based on the number of cars that pass inspection and enter the race. Once the final round begins, all times will reset and only the times in the final round will be counted. The car with the fastest average time in the final round will be the Grand Champion. As this is a new round, it is entirely possible for the Grand Champion to not have won their group in the opening round.

Open Round:
At the discretion of leadership and communicated in advance of the derby, there may be an Open round for adults, siblings, and scouts from the troop. This is for fun and there are no rules, with a few exceptions. Do not use oils, flammables, or anything that can damage the track.

Pinewood Derby Build Rules for Cub Scouts:

  1. BODY:  Only the body provided with the BSA kit may be used.
  2. WIDTH:  Car cannot be more than 2 ¾ inches wide
  3. LENGTH:  Car cannot be more than 7 inches long.
  4. WEIGHT:  Finished car cannot weigh more than 5.0 ounces. The weight shown on the “official” electronic race scale is final. (The scale uses a 5.0 oz. certified weight for accuracy). All car parts and materials must be firmly attached. To increase the car’s weight, you can only add wood or metal.
  5. WHEEL PLACEMENT:   The car body must be at least 1 ¾ inches wide at the axles. It must clear the ground by at least 3/8 of an inch. The four wheels, two on each side of the car, must be placed such that the car will straddle the lane guide. ALL FOUR WHEELS must be in contact with the surface and fully rotate at all times.
  6. WHEELS AND AXLES: Must use only BSA wheels and axles from the BSA kit. You can polish the axles. You may lightly sand the wheels to remove the molding seam on the tread. No other wheel changes are allowed.
  7. WHEEL BEARINGS:  You may not use bearings, washers, or bushings.
  8. SPRINGING:  The car may not ride on any type of springs.
  9. DETAILS:  Details such as steering wheel, driver, decals, paint…etc are okay, so long as all specifications are met. No cars with wet paint.
  10. ATTACHMENTS:  The car must be free-wheeling with no starting devices.
  11. LUBRICATION:  Use DRY powered graphite onlyNO oils or silicone sprays. The application of graphite is not allowed after the inspection process. (The use of other lubricants can damage the track)
  12. INSPECTION:  Each car must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Committee before it may compete. The inspectors will disqualify any car not meeting these rules. Any adult or scout may appeal the decision to the Race Committee Chairperson.