Pinewood Derby

Race Information

The intent of the Pinewood Derby is for a Cub Scout to complete and race a Pinewood Derby car starting from the kit provided by the Pack. It is realized that some adult supervision, advice and assistance may be necessary, however, the Cub Scout should do the majority of the work and have the responsibility for the car.

Race Schedule

  • 12/12/19: Kit Distribution - see your Den leader
  • 1/25/20, 4-6 PM: Check-in and registration at Dakota Lodge
  • 1/26/20: Race Day for all ranks at Dakota Lodge - Rank/Division times as follows:
    Rank Race / Awards
    Webelos I & II / Arrow of Light 12noon - 1:00PM
    Bear 1:00PM - 2:00PM
    Wolf & Tiger (awarded separately) 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Abbreviated Rules

  • All Scouts who are registered in the Pack may design, build, and enter cars into the Pinewood Derby event.
  • The car may not exceed 5 ounces.
  • Do not modify the wheels, axels, or wheelbase.
  • Max width: 2 3/4" Max Height: 3" Max length: 7"
  • The Outlaw class has been discontinued. Please ensure all scouts have a "legal" car for their age-group class.

Detailed Rules

Eligibility of Contestants and Cars

  • All Tiger, Cub, and Webelos Scouts who are registered in the Pack may design, build, and enter cars that are eligible to participate in the Pinewood Derby event.
  • In case of illness or a valid conflict, an absent scout may be represented by an authorized agent. An authorized agent is defined as a sibling or a Cub Scout of similar age.
  • Cars in the current year competition must have been made for this race season. Cars or parts of cars such as wheels or axles, from previous years may not be used.
  • All cars must successfully pass weigh-in and inspection no later than the day before race day to be qualified to compete.

Length, Width & Clearance

  • Maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2-3/4".
  • Minimum width between wheels shall be 1-3/4" so the car will clear the center guide strip.
  • Minimum clearance between the bottom of the car and track shall be 3/8" so the car will clear the center guide strip.
  • Maximum length (including wheels) shall not exceed 7".
  • Maximum height shall not exceed 3".
  • The wheelbase (distance between the front and rear axles, center to center) may not be changed from the kit body distance of 4-3/8". The official kit block has pre-cut slots which are correctly spaced. If desired, these slots may be pre-drilled before they are used or straightened if they are crooked.
  • 100% of the car must be behind the starting peg.  NOTE: Our track uses a center of lane starting peg which needs to be accounted for in race car design.
  • Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting and interior details are allowed as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, height, and weight.

Wheels, Axles & Bodies

  • Car bodies must be from the block of wood in the BSA Pinewood derby kit.
  • Only the wheels and axles from the official Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby kit or official BSA Pinewood Derby wheels (any color) may be used.
  • Wheels and axles not from the official kits are prohibited.
  • Wheels and axles which have been modified by other parties are prohibited, even if they are BSA Pinewood Derby wheels.
  • Axles must be mounted into the wood. Either end of the car can be the front.
  • Axles and axle heads may be filed or sanded to remove flashing and burs, then polished to reduce friction. No dimension changes or reshaping can be made. This light filing, sanding and polishing is the only axle modification allowed. Beveling, rounding, tapering, thinning, grooving, or any other significant altering of the shape or performance of the axles or axle heads such as "speed axle" modifications is prohibited.
  • • The outside circumference of the wheels can be lightly sanded to remove surface and casting imperfections. The tire treads on the outside of the wheels must remain visible around the entire circumference of the wheel. The outside of the wheel cannot be sanded and the words “BSA Pinewood Derby” must remain flat, visible and untouched.
  • The hub may not be changed or modified in any fashion. Beveling, rounding, tapering, thinning, perforating (drilling), or any other significant altering of the shape or performance of the wheels or wheel hubs is prohibited.
  • Modification of the cylindrical inner wall of the wheel which contacts the axle such as tapping threads into the hub is prohibited.
  • Wheel bearings, washers, or bushings of any type or fashion are prohibited. This includes "wheel covers" which serve to keep the wheel hubs from contacting the car body. It also includes "hub caps", or anything else that might serve as lubrication "well"
  • The car shall not ride on any type of springs.
  • The car must be free-wheeling with no starting device or other propulsion, such as adhesives, magnets, rubber bands, motors, jets, etc.
  • Metal frames and metal axle supports are prohibited. The aftermarket plastic axle supports are also prohibited.


  • Weight shall not exceed 5 ounces. The readings, at the time of registration, of the Official Race Scale will be considered final.
  • The car may be carved, cut, sculpted, and/or sanded in order to enhance performance and/or appearance.
  • No loose materials of any kind are permitted on or inside the car.
  • Additional materials may be added to the car for the following purposes only:
    1. Weights may be added to increase the weight and/or alter the weight distribution of a car.
    2. Paints/decals/decorations may be added to alter the appearance and/or aerodynamics of a car.
    3. Glue may be used to secure the axles to the car body.
    4. Wood putty, or a similar wood-like substance, may be used to repair minor damage to a car.


  • Only dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite or white powder Pinewood Derby Car Lubricant, may be used.
  • Oils and silicone sprays are prohibited.
  • A car may be lubricated before registration and weigh-in. This is the only time when lubrication is permissible. Specifically, cars may not be lubricated while competing during the race or at the time of a repair during races.

Ground Rules

  • If a car jumps off the track before the finish line, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps off the track a second time, the heat will not be run again and will automatically lose the heat.
  • If a car leaves its lane and interferes with another car, the heat will be run again. If the same car leaves its lane a second time and interferes with another car, the heat will be run again without the interfering car. The interfering car will automatically lose the heat.
  • If a car suffers a mechanical problem and a repair can be accomplished within five minutes, the heat will be run again. If the repair is not feasible or would take longer than five minutes, the car will automatically lose the heat. If needed, the heat will be run again without the damaged car.

Dress Code

  • Scouts should be in Class A uniform during the competition.

Inspections and Disputes

  • Each car must pass inspection by the Inspection Committee Judges before it may compete. The Inspection Team has the right to disqualify those cars which do not meet the rules. Car owners will be informed of the violations and given an opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules. To be included in the race, the modification must be completed prior to the end of weigh-in
  • Interpretations of the rules described herein are at the sole discretion of the Inspection Committee Judges present during the Registration and Inspection process.
  • On Race-Day, the Cub Scout must make all questions of rules interpretations and procedures to the Pinewood Derby Chairman or Race Officials promptly. Decisions of Race Officials on questions of rules interpretations and procedure may be appealed to the Pinewood Derby Chairman. The Pinewood Derby Chairman is the Pack Committee Chair. All decisions of the Pinewood Derby Chairman are final.
  • Decisions of Race Officials on questions of fact (i.e. the result of a specific race) may not be appealed beyond the Trackmaster and/or Finish Line Judges.
  • No car may be altered in any way after it has been registered. After a car passes registration, the Pinewood Derby Race Committee will store it in a secure location.
  • Ungentlemanly or unsportsmanlike like conduct by any participant or member of the audience will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or race area.

Outlaw Class

  • This class has been discontinued, please assist your scout in making a "legal" car for their age-group class.

Ken Caryl Pack 742

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