2024 Pinewood Derby


The Pinewood Derby is one of the most popular events in Cub Scouts. Every year more than a million boys and parents team up to carve, decorate, weigh, adjust, fret over, and finally race a Pinewood Derby car. The first Pinewood Derby was held 70 years ago in 1953 by Cub Scouts in Manhattan Beach, California. 

The purpose of the Pinewood Derby is to help our Cub Scouts build a team relationship with their parents or helpers, experience the excitement of competition, learn good sportsmanship, and, most importantly, have fun!

Please adhere to the below rules as we insist on a level-playing field for all our Scouts. As always, cars should be reasonably built by Scouts, not adults. Please work together with your Scout and offer assistance, letting them design, sand, assemble and paint their derby cars to the best of their ability. This is a chance for your Scout to be part of a team and enjoy the spirit of friendly competition with his peers.

Please review the following statement with your Scout:

In every competition there are winners and losers. You accept this when you choose to compete. There may be times when you win and feel happy, and times when you lose and feel sad. Winning a car race does not make you a good Scout. A good Scout does not brag or gloat when they win, and they do not act jealous or bitter when they lose. A good Scout must be able to say “I did my best” and be proud of their effort. After all, this is the “fun” part of Scouting, enjoy it!

Good luck and let’s go racing!


Derby Check-In - Friday, Jan 19th 7-8PM

On the evening before the race, you must bring your car to Nichols Elementary for weighing, inspection and registration. If your car does not pass inspection for any reason, you will have until the end of the registration period (8:00pm) to correct or repair your car. Some hand tools will be available to make minor modifications to pass inspection, but we encourage you to bring your own tools as well. Please do not wait until the last minute for weight adjustments, since you may not have enough time. 

Once your car has been registered and approved to race, it will remain with the officials until after the races are completed the following day. All cars will be weighed equally on the same postal scales during registration. It’s possible that your car weighs 5 oz at home but shows 5.01 oz at check-in. In this case, you will need to lower the weight of the car prior to 8 pm. We will make every effort to allow a Scout to race, but Race Officials have the final say on car eligibility.

Please do not show up on Race Day with an unregistered car. All registered cars are assigned numbers and given lane and rotation assignments in advance. We will not be able to alter this on the day of the race. No exceptions!

If you cannot make it to the Derby Check-in, please coordinate dropping off your car in advance with your Den Leader or friend for proper registration.


Derby Divisions and Trophies

Scout Division

Your racer will compete within your den for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fastest. Then, the top finishers from each den will compete in the Grand Championship. All Scouts are expected to race. If you did not receive your Pinewood Derby kit during Recharter, please contact Cubmaster Matt at 214-455-6048.


Outlaw Division

Any car that fails inspection or created by a sibling/parent will compete in the Outlaw Division held before the Grand Championship.



    • Top Speed (1st/2nd/3rd fastest in each den)
    • Grand Championship Top Speed* (1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th fastest in the pack)
    • Fastest Standing Still
    • Best Workmanship
    • Best Appearance
    • Best Paint Job
    • Most Creative
    • Most Futuristic
    • Most Realistic
    • Most Patriotic
    • Funniest
    • Cubbiest

*Note: Top 3 will represent Pack 443 in the District Championship with 4th/5th serving as alternates. The Scout who places 1st overall will have his name added to a special trophy that he will keep for one year until the next Derby. 


Participation Patches

Every Scout who races on Saturday will receive a special 2024 Pinewood Derby patch to wear on their Cub Scout uniform.


Derby Format and Racing Order

Each Scout will compete against his denmates six times, once in each lane of the track using digital timing equipment. Our software will automatically drop the lowest speed and average the remaining five. This yields the overall speed for that car leading to the final rankings in order to decide 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies. The derby software will manage race results, and the Race Officials’ decisions will be final. 

The racing begins promptly at 9am with our Lion Scouts. That’s followed by Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos, and AOLs den races. We will have a brief trophy ceremony after each den’s racing concludes. After that, we will host our Outlaw race followed by our Grand Championship. Similar to earlier, each racer will have six races during the Grand Championship.

Only the Race Officials and the volunteer Pit Crew will be allowed to handle the cars during the races. Cars will be selected by random means and run based on the total number of entrants. We encourage all our Scouts to remain near the races and cheer for everyone in Pack 443!



Car Rules and Regulations

Scout Division: Requirements 

    • Cars must be reasonably made by the Scout in the current year.
    • Only BSA official parts are permitted. No parts manufactured, modified, or machined by any third party are allowed.
    • Dimensions of the car shall not exceed 7” length x 4” height x 23⁄4” width including the wheels. Wheels must be at least 1 5/8” apart, with track clearance at least 3/8” under the car. Adding fenders or parts to the sides is fine, so long as they don’t exceed the maximum width.
    • The weight of the car shall not exceed 141.7 grams (5.0 oz) on the official race scales.
    • Scouts may sand and polish their own wheels and axles. New axle holes and differing wheel bases are allowed. The car MUST be freewheeling (no starting devices).
    • The front of the car must have a FLAT edge to accommodate the starting post. No part of the car may extend past the starting post. No car may ride on any kind of spring or use a starting device.

Scout Division: Prohibited Items

    • Wheel bearings, washers, bushings, or hubcaps are not allowed. Grooved or machined axles and wheels are strictly prohibited.
    • Wheels that have been rounded, thinned, wafered, machined, weight reduced, or otherwise modified will not be allowed. Rough edges and mold marks may be removed, and the wheels may be polished. Coned hubs are allowed. The beading must be intact, and the BSA stamping must be visible. Wheels modified beyond what a Scout can reasonably do WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RACE.
    • No 3-wheelers or canted (bent) axles. All four wheels must TOUCH and ROLL FLAT on the track.
    • Axles may be lubricated with dry lubricants only, such as graphite. All lubricants must stay on the car and must not foul the track. Oil based or liquid lubricants are prohibited.
    • Replacement wheels for color/style are allowed, but they MUST be official BSA wheels with the stamping clearly visible. Packaging should include the official BSA marks.

Scout Division: Race Rules

    • Once the car has been weighed and inspected, the car will be placed on a rack and kept overnight. Only the designated Pit Crew may handle the cars until after the race. No further modifications can be made to the car. If Race Officials see a problem, it is at their discretion to ask the Scout to correct it.
    • Each heat will be announced. The Pit Crew will make sure the cars are on the track properly.
    • Cars with loose parts must remove them or the car will not be able to race. Cars that cannot stay on the track or which might pose a hazard to other cars will not be able to race.
    • If a rule violation is suspected at any time, the car will be examined by Race Officials, which may include removal of axles or wheels for inspection if required. Race Officials may disqualify cars that do not comply with the rules or may move the car to the Outlaw Race at their discretion. 

Outlaw Division: Rules

No oils or wet lubricants. No pyrotechnics, pressurized air or fluids. No internal combustion engines. No device that is not part of the car may be used to propel the car or pull the car across the finish line (i.e. slingshot or bungee type devices). Keep in mind the car must fit on the track so please review width and clearance limits above.

Outlaw Division: Prohibited Items

Flammable liquids, rocket engines, nitrous-oxide equipment, nuclear-based power cells and/or energy sources,

dilithium crystals, vespene gas, kryptonite, cars that deploy parachutes to slow down, steam or coal engines, cars requiring an oil change, flux capacitors, lead-based paints, and the use of any equipment patented by NASA or the Acme Corporation. In short, (almost) anything goes!



Minecraft Pinewood Derby
Alien Pinewood Derby
Batman Pinewood Derby
Speeder Pinewood Derby