Pinewood Derby

General Info

The Pinewood Derby is a racing event for unpowered, unmanned miniature cars. With an adults’ help, scouts build their own cars using a provided kit.

Scouts receive a kit with a block of wood, four plastic wheels, and four nails for axles. The finished car must use all nine pieces, must not exceed a certain weight, must not exceed a certain width and length, and must fit on the track used by our pack.

Blocks can be whittled with a hand knife, bandsaw, or carving tool. Other than the basic design rules, scouts can carve and decorate their cars as they choose. Cars vary from unfinished blocks to replicas of actual vehicles, allusions to popular movies or characters, or any other place the imagination can design and create.

The night of the race, scouts get to see their car move in action on a sensitive timed-track. Racing occurs in heats, so each racer gets several opportunities to see his or her car in action. Awards are given out for not only the fastest cars, but also for car design.

Pinewood Derby Rules

The Pinewood Derby rules below must be followed in order for your car to pass inspection and be allowed to race. Some materials such as weights, paints, and graphite are allowed to be used.

  1. The car weight shall not exceed 5.0 ounces. The official race scale shall be considered final.

  2. The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches; nothing shall extend beyond the car body.

  3. The overall width including wheels, wheel fenders and or cosmetics of the car shall not exceed 2 3⁄4 inches.

  4. The overall height of the car shall not exceed 4 1⁄2 inches and must clear the finishing gate.

  5. The car must have a minimum of 1 3⁄4-inch clearance between the wheels and clear the width of the center rail of the track.

  6. With the wheels attached, the car must have a minimum of 3/8-inch clearance underneath the entire body of the car and clear the height of the center rail of the track.

  7. The wheelbase of the car and axle locations may not be altered from the ones provided in the kit.

  8. No part of the car may protrude beyond the track’s starting gate pin.

  9. The wood provided in the kit must be used. The block may be shaped anyway that is desired, as long as it fits within the above measurements.

  10. The wheels must be official BSA wheels like those supplied with the kit. They may be replaced with the colored ones sold at the scout shop that are identical to the ones provided in the kit. The outer wheel surface (tread area only) may be LIGHTLY sanded or polished to remove minor surface imperfections such as mold casting burrs. The outer wheel surface may not be reshaped or have a contour changed in any way in an attempt to minimize wheel tread contact or alter aerodynamics.

  11. The wheel axles provided in the kit must be used. They may be sanded and or polished. No stainless-steel axles will be permitted. Cars must be freewheeling with no starting and/or acceleration devices. Cars shall not ride on any type of springs. Washers and or bushings of any type are prohibited.

  12. No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, wheel bearings, etc. may be used.

  13. Only dry lubricants, such as graphite, may be used on the axles and wheels. (No lubricating oils allowed)

  14. The car must have been newly built this year and not from a previous year.

When you arrive on race day, report to the official check in table. The cars will be weighed, measured, and inspected. Once you pass inspection, you will receive your official race number. All cars must pass inspection to qualify for the race. Once the car passes inspection, no more modifications will be made.

You may bring tools to make modifications to your car before or during the check-in process to pass inspection.

Award Categories

Scout Awards

  • Speed Racers
    The top five fastest Scout Pinewood Derby Cars in the Pack (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th) place.

  • Best in Show
    The Pinewood Derby Car which is all around well put together including the paint, decals, design, and color.

  • Most Creative
    The Pinewood Derby Car which exemplifies one’s creativity while using their imagination.

  • Most Patriotic
    The Pinewood Derby Car which shows the love, support, and loyalty to our Country.

  • Scout Spirited
    The Pinewood Derby Car, which represents the ideals of Scouting based upon the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

  • Best Sports Themed
    The Pinewood Derby Car which displays the best design supporting the Scout’s favorite sports team.

The top 5 fastest cars for the Pack, along with our Best In Show winner, will advance to the District Races.

Sibling Awards

  • Speed
    The top three fastest sibling Pinewood Derby Cars in the Pack (1st, 2nd and 3rd Place), will receive medals.

Participation Award

All racers will receive a participation award for meeting the rule specifications and qualifying for the


Race Results & Awards