Pack 325 Pinewood Derby 2012

Post date: Dec 7, 2011 3:37:41 AM

Attention All Race Fans! Pack 325's Pinewood Derby is coming up soon!

This page has everything you need to know to build a great Pinewood Derby car and race in our event! If you did not get one at the December Pack meeting, a PDF version of the Pinewood Derby flyer is attached below. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Doug Brooks,

Key Dates and Times:

Pack 325 Weigh-in:

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Country Lane MU Room

6:45PM – 7:45PM

Pack 325 Race Event:

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Country Lane MU Room

6:00PM – 8:30PM (estimated)

Race Format:

Our 2012 Pinewood Derby race will have a slightly different format from last year.

First, the Tigers will race first. Everyone will race 4 times, once in each lane. Tiger will race against other Tigers. The two fastest Tigers qualify for the district race.

Second, Wolf/Bear/Webelos Scouts will race in heats like last year, 4 times each (once in each lane, heats assigned randomly by computer). The fastest 12 scouts from the qualifying heats will then compete in a finals race. the two fastest scouts qualify for the district race.


The following race performance will be awarded, based on times per computerize timing system:

    • Tiger Race: 1st / 2nd / 3rd place (trophy)
    • Scout (Finals) Race: 1st / 2nd / 3rd place (trophy)
    • Den Awards: 1st / 2nd / 3rd place (medal)

The design awards will be awarded:

    • Mach 325 Award: awarded to the car that looks the fastest – even standing still (trophy)
    • Wood Master Award: awarded to the car that demonstrates the greatest woodworking effort (trophy)
    • Paint Master Award: awarded to the car that demonstrates the greatest pain effort (trophy)
    • Most Patriotic Design (ribbon)
    • Most Original Design (ribbon)
    • Most Colorful Paint Job (ribbon)
    • Construction Award (ribbon)
    • "If Looks Could Kill" (ribbon)
    • Spirit of the Tiger (ribbon)
    • Spirit of the Wolf (ribbon)
    • Spirit of the Bear (ribbon)
    • Spirit of the Scout (Webelos) (ribbon)

Car Building Rules:


The purpose of this event is for the scout to build and race a wooden car. The scout should do as much of the work as is appropriate for his age. It is expected that a Tiger Cub will have quite a bit of help, but a Webelos II should be doing almost all of the work himself. Buying pre-made parts is NOT the goal of this event! Each scout is expected to build a new car each year – no racing last year’s car!

The Kit

The car shall be built from the official Cub Scout “Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit." The Kit is a one piece wood block for the car body with plated nails for wheel axles and wide tread plastic wheels. Only official BSA wheels and axles may be used as replacements. Unofficial kits, bodies, wheels or axles will not be accepted. The "PineCar" or any other pre-cut bodies WILL NOT be allowed to enter the District Race.

The Car Body

You must start with the wood block provided in the kit and, as a minimum, the axle slots and some amount of continuous wood between the slots must remain from the original block. THE AXLES MUST BE INSERTED IN THE PRE-CUT GROOVES THAT ARE ALREADY CUT IN THE CAR BODY. The wheel base (distance between the axles) must not be changed. You may add weights and other decorations if you wish. Decorative parts may be from any source.


All cars must have four (4) wheels. You must use official BSA wheels THE SHAPE AND FORM OF THE WHEELS CANNOT BE MODIFIED OR RESHAPED, however wheels may be cleaned up to remove molding burrs. Only a minimal amount of material may be removed. The embossed “tread” marks on the outer rim must still be visible. You may not remove material from the inside of the wheel. The molded lettering on the inside and outside of the wheel must be intact and visible to the judges. The wheels may be polished if desired. All four wheels MUST be in contact with a flat surface when the car is placed on it. (Roll the car on a flat surface and all 4 wheels MUST turn)


The official kit provides nails for the axles, and you must use the official BSA axles. Wheel bearings, washers, bushings, axle sleeves, and wheel covers are prohibited. The axles may be smoothed and polished if desired. The axles may be glued or clamped to hold them in place in the slots.

Physical Dimensions

Overall dimensions are: 3" wide by 7" long by 3" high. Some kits come with blocks longer than 7" and must be trimmed. Note that these rules allow a 3" width vs. the 2-3/4" width specified in the kits. The width between the wheels must be greater than 1-3/4", inside measurement. No part of the car can extend forward of the starting post.

Track Clearance

Track clearance is specified at 3/8" to clear the lane strips that are 1/4" high.


The car weight shall not exceed 5.000 ounces (141.75 grams). No loose material of any kind is permitted in or on the car. The car may be hollowed out and built up to the maximum weight by the addition of solid materials such as wood or metal provided it is securely attached or built into the body chassis. The weight MUST NOT be taped on. No liquid weights are permitted inside or attached to the outside of the car body. No weights may be added after the car has raced in the Pack race. Lead weights should be avoided due to the toxicity of lead. The pre-made metal weights, or steel, brass or tungsten should be used instead. If lead is used it must be under the surface, sealed from touch. Note that many low cost scales and most post office scales are not very accurate and your car may be overweight if you rely on them. At the district race, an official BSA 5oz. weight is used as the reference, and all cars must not weigh more than it does.


The car shall not run on any type of springs. The car must be freewheeling


The wheels and axles may be lubricated with any lubricant desired. However, a car that is dripping any oil or excessive amounts of graphite on the track will be disqualified. No additional lubricant may be added after the race starts. If wheel or axle repairs are necessary during the race, the replacement part may be lubricated under the supervision of a race official.

The five most important car building hints:

  1. Carefully trim all flash from the sides, hubs and contact surface of the wheels. Remember that you cannot change the profile (shape) of the wheel.
  2. Remove the sharp edges of the axel nails by first filing, then placing in the chuck of a drill and using sand paper to make smooth. After you can use pumice, or polishing compound to polish the axels. Pay special attention to the heads of the nails that will contact the outside hub of the wheel.
  3. When mounting the wheels leave between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch of play (total) on the axle. This prevents binding and makes it easier to lubricate the wheels.
  4. Make sure that the car rolls straight when placed on a level surface and that all four wheels touch the ground. Adjust the axle nails as needed to achieve this.
  5. After the axles are perfect, use two-part epoxy or a hot glue gun to set the axles in position. The BSA axle clamps may also be used.

External Resources:

Pioneer District Race:

The top two Tiger Cubs and top two older scouts (Wolf/Bear/Webelos) are eligible to race at the Pioneer District Regional derby. The third place car of each group can race as an alternate if one of the top two chooses not to race. The regional Pinewood Derby rules require that the cars be impounded after the Pack race and brought to the Regional weigh-in by a Pack race race official. Regional weigh-in is Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 (7:00PM – 9:00PM) and the race is Saturday, February 4th, 2011. More information about the Pioneer District event will be available at our Pack race.