Running the Track and Software

There's nothing wrong with wanting to build the fastest pinewood derby car you can. But it is important to remember why the Pinewood Derby races exist. The Pinewood Derby was started to promote learning, competition, and sportsmanship.

Learning is an important part of the pinewood derby races. The Cub Scout should not only learn about such concepts as friction and gravity, but they should learn how to work with power tools safely. Depending on the experience of the Cub Scout, it may be necessary for adult supervision while building the pinewood derby car. This is a great way for an adult and a Cub Scout to spend time together.

In competition, there is always a person that wins and a person that loses. Competition drives us to do our best. By participating and competing, we broaden our knowledge, skills, and become a better person. The only loser is the person that refuses to better him or herself.

Sportsmanship involves both following the rules and how you behave at the pinewood derby. No matter how your car performs, you want to behave in a manner that will allow you to feel good in days to follow.

Car Building Specifications

  1. Car Specifications:
    • Width -must not exceed 2-3/4"
    • Length – must not exceed 7"
    • Width between the wheels must be at least 1-3/4”
    • There needs to be a 3/8” clearance between the bottom of the car and the track
    • Weight - must not exceed 5.00 Ounces (based on digital scale)
      (The block of wood provided in the kit meets the above measurements, excluding the weight).
  2. The car must have been made during the current Scouting year in which the derby is being held (i.e., you cannot use cars from previous years). You must use –the Pinewood Derby Car kits supplied by the Pack.
  3. Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings are prohibited.
  4. The car shall not ride on springs.
  5. Only Cub Scout Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are permitted (aftermarket parts are not allowed).
  6. Axle modification is permitted, but fixed axles are prohibited (i.e., nail-type axles only).
  7. Limited wheel modification is permitted; removing substantial wheel mass is not. (The inner wheel wording must be visible during inspection).
  8. Dry graphite is the only lubricant allowed.
  9. Details, such as steering wheel and driver are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and weight specifications.
  10. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
  11. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it can compete.
  12. If at registration a car does not pass inspection, the Scout will be informed of the reason for failure and will be given time within the official weigh-in period to adjust.
  13. After final approval, cars will not be re-inspected unless the car is damaged in handling or in a race.

*** You must be present to RACE. Both in the heat races and the finals.***

Open Class (Renegade Class) Specifications

We have added an Open Class, where most rules do not apply.  Parents, siblings, relatives, or even your pets can enter a car in the Open Class.  In the Open Class, cars can take any shape, use propulsion, or anything else you can think of to make your car fast or simply cool! We are limiting the weight for cars in the Open Class to 8.00 oz.  Otherwise, as long as it stays on the track and does not interfere with the other cars, it is fair game. Let the games begin!

Race Rules


  1. Race heats will be by den with race times selected in advance. Cars must be checked in and inspected prior to the den heat. Please arrive on time.
  2. Each den car will run one time in each of the 4 track lanes. The 4 times per car will be averaged.
  3. The fastest average time per den will be the den winner and will compete in the finals.
  4. Den winners will receive a derby medal.
  5. The den winner, plus the next fastest times (up to an aggregate total of 16 cars) will compete in the finals.


  1. Each car will run one time in each of the 4 track lanes. The 4 times per car will be averaged.
  2. The top three fastest average times will win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively.
  3. Any tie will be broken by an additional run down a single lane (same lane for both cars).
  4. The top 3 final winners will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies.
  5. The car with the fastest average time for each den will be awarded a 1st place in den medal.*

* Cars must race with their dens to have a chance to earn the “First Place in Den” and award.

Car Design Award Categories

The cars will also be judged for awards in the following categories: Coolest design, Most Humorous Design, and best Cub Scout theme design.  Winners for design awards are determined by Boy Scout/Parent judges.

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