When my son and I received our Pinewood Derby car box we were both pretty excited at the possibilities that lay before us.
So the first thing we did when we got home was to search the Internet for Pinewood Derby Car Designs. Having found a few resources, we decided to put together a website to help others. This website is the result of that experience.
What to expect on race day
I’ve always thought its best to begin a project with the end in mind. To that end (no pun intended), here’s what you can expect on race day.
Pre-race Day – This usually happens on the Friday night before the Saturday race. Scouts are allowed to come to the race location and test their car against other cars. You can also take this opportunity to weigh your car on the official scales (our pack uses postal scales that can be purchased for $20 at Wal Mart). The car cannot exceed 5 ounces and can be no longer than 7 inches.
Race Day – You will be assigned a time slot for your den’s race. Once you arrive at the race location you will make any final adjustments to your car, then turn it in to the race officials to receive your race number. A tiny sticker is affixed to your car which identifies your car’s race number. Modern races use computer assisted track timers and registration software. When you check in, your name and race number are entered into the software.
Race tracks typically have 4 lanes and are approximately 32 feet long with a 4-5 foot drop then a long straight away through the finish line. Once your car is put into a race, it will start in lane 1, race, then be placed into lane 2, 3 and 4. Once you’ve raced in all lanes once, your time is averaged over the 4 races and this becomes your official race time. Our car finished 1st in lanes 1 and 3, 2nd in lane 4 and 3rd in lane 2. So you can see, lane speeds will vary.