Pinewood Derby

About the Pinewood Derby

The Pinewood Derby is a racing event for Cub Scout Pack 334. Cub Scouts, with the help of parents, build their own cars from wood from kits supplied by the Pack. Awards are given for First, Second, Third Place, as well as Best Gas Mileage, in races. All cars are also judged for Creative Awards including Most Unusual, Most Colorful, Most Detailed, Best Design, Best Display. Parents and siblings are also invited to create their own cars to compete in our separate Family Race.

A day of fun, food, cheering, and creativity, the Pinewood Derby is one of the highlights of Cub Scouting year.

Each Cub Scout wishing to participate is given an official kit including instructions, a block of wood made of pine, four plastic wheels, and four nails. Kits are usually handed out in early winter and the race is usually held in late winter or early spring.

Pinewood Derby Kit
This is what is in the kit.

Race Format

Beginning in 2024, instead of the double-elimination we’ve used in the past, we will be using new software (GrandPrix Race Manager) and a new timer (TwinTurbo) that will measure the speed of each car each time it races. We will have multiple “heats” so that every car can run on every lane (our track has three lanes) twice. This will allow each car to have 6 timed runs. The slowest time of the 6 will be dropped, and the remaining 5 times will be averaged. First, Second, and Third Place winners will be determined by the 3 cars able to finish 6 heats with the top 3 fastest times (based on their average times). The Best Gas Mileage winner will be determined by the car able to finish 6 heats with the slowest average time.

Creative awards (see below) will be judged before the start of the race and announced at the end of the race; Scouts will (please!) take their cars home with them after the race.


The finished car must use all nine pieces and must meet our specifications (included in the instructions supplied with each kit). Each of these 7 specifications will be measured on each car at Weigh-In:

  • Weight: not more than 5.0 ounces
  • Length: not more than 7 inches
  • Width (including wheels and axels): not more than 2 3/4 inches
  • Width Between Wheels: not less than 1 3/4 inches
  • Bottom Clearance: not less than 3/8 inch
  • Height: Not more than 5 1/2 inches

Other than these basic design rules, Cub Scouts are encouraged to carve and decorate the car however they choose. Blocks can be whittled with a hand knife, bandsaw, or Dremel carving tool for major shaping. Decals can be bought at scout shops or hobby shops.

Many Cub Scouts also add weights to the final design to bring the car to the maximum allowable weight; coins and glued-in lead or steel pieces are common ways to add weight. Cars typically vary from unfinished blocks to whimsical objects, to accurate replicas of actual cars. Dry graphite powder is the only lubricant allowed, and it often helps to polish the provided nails.

Be creative, have fun, and maybe try for an award. There will be trophies or plaques for each of the creative classifications as well as for the actual race of First, Second, and Third Place, and for Best Gas Mileage.

Boys Life Magazine has some great tips on How to Make a Fast Pinewood Derby Car.

Rules of the Race

Each of these rules will be verified at Weigh-In:

  1. All cars must be primarily constructed of wood.
  2. All cars in the Pack Race shall be made for this year’s race; cars made for previous years’ races are not permitted. Older cars can be used in the Family Race.
  3. BSA-approved pre-cut wooden car kits may be used, however, pre-assembled or pre-finished cars are not permitted.
  4. Axles, wheels, and body shall be from the materials provided in the kit. Alternate or replacement wheels can be purchased separately but must be official BSA.
  5. The car must have 4 wheels and 4 axles but: all four wheels do not have to touch the race surface; the wheels do not have to lay flat on the surface — they can be angled; the wheels have to be placed in traditional locations.
  6. Wheels shall not extend past the front of the car.
  7. Wheels and axles may be smoothed and polished by the racer to remove manufacturing defects.
  8. Axles can be bent by the racer.
  9. Commercially available pre-turned wheels and axles, or bent/modified axles, shall not be used.
  10. Wheel bearings, washers, and bushings shall not be used.
  11. Lubricating oil shall not be used (axles may be lubricated with graphite powder only). If graphite powder is used, it shall not be excessive or messy.
  12. The car shall not ride on any kind of spring.
  13. The car must be free-wheeling, with no starting devices.
  14. There shall be no loose parts.
  15. Cars with wet paint will not be accepted.
  16. Decals and painted designs must be age-appropriate for all Cub Scouts.
  17. Add-on parts and decorations may be made of any material but may not exceed the specifications listed above.

Weigh-In, Inspection, Isolation, Attendance & Conduct, and Disputes

Each of the specifications and rules above will be measured and checked for each car at Weigh-In. When possible, cars that do not comply will be returned for quick modifications. Cars will not be accepted unless they comply with all specifications and rules, and cars that do not comply by the end of Weigh-In can not race. Once a car has been accepted at Weigh-In, the car will be isolated and kept by the Pack until after the race; it may not be handled by anyone except Race Officials, or modified in any way, including lubrication.

Race officials have the right to disqualify cars that do not comply with all of the specifications and rules, or that could cause damage to the attendees, facility, or the track.

A Scout does not need to be present for their car to be turned in during Weigh-In or to race on Race Day.

We invite all family of Scouts to attend the race, and we encourage loud and enthusiastic cheering. However, mocking any Scout or their car is absolutely not acceptable. Unsportsmanlike conduct, by any Scout or other attendee, will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or race area.

Decisions of the Race Officials during Weigh-In, Isolation, or the Race, are final.


Race Awards: based each car’s speed going down the track, calculated by the track timer and software.

  • First Place: for the car with the fastest average time this year.
  • Second Place: for the car with the second fastest average time this year.
  • Third Place: for the car with the third fastest average time this year.
  • Best Gas Mileage*: for the car with the slowest average time this year.

Creative Awards: based on the votes of the Creative Judges and the Pack Committee.

  • Most Unusual: for the car with the funniest, most original, most unique design this year.
  • Most Colorful: for the car with the most and best use of color this year.
  • Most Detailed: for the car with the most attention to detail in both paint finish and accessories this year.
  • Best Design: for the car with the best overall design this year.
  • Committee’s Choice**: for the car chosen by the Pack Committee as their favorite this year.

*In 2024, we added the Best Gas Mileage award.
**In 2024 we replaced the Best Display award with the Committee’s Choice award.

Our Pinewood Derby Honor Roll

2024 Awards

Our annual race was held on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: John Dillon (Problem)
  • 2nd Place: Teddy Gardner (Octane)
  • 3rd Place: Asher Weller (Glitter Gator)
  • Best Gas Mileage: Kori Williams (The Last Stand)
  • Most Unusual: Ezra Weller (Paint Rocket)
  • Most Colorful: Riley Haynes (The Rainbow Car)
  • Most Detailed: Finn Burgess (The Mario Cart)
  • Best Design: Devi Johnson (Cheezd To Meet You)
  • Committee’s Choice Award: Carter Davis (Pizza)

2023 Awards

Our annual race was held on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: John Dillon (Poison Stang)
  • 2nd Place: Charlie Forte (It’s A Philly Thing)
  • 3rd Place: Ezra Weller (Drag Star)
  • Most Unusual: Deklan Dougherty (The Weiner Mobile)
  • Most Colorful: Julian Sendzik (Electric Lightning)
  • Most Detailed: Devi Johnson (Chihuahua Chaser)
  • Best Design: Julien Hoppel (Tayo the Bus)
  • Best Display: John Dillon (Poison Stang) & Julien Hoppel (Tayo the Bus)

2022 Awards

Our annual race was held on April 2, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Ezra Weller
  • 2nd Place:
  • 3rd Place:

2021 Awards

Our annual race was held on June 26, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Edward Martin (Mallard)
  • 2nd Place: Fiona Cheeseman (Exploding Creeper)
  • 3rd Place: Wilson Carmichael (The Wild Cat)

2020 Awards

Our annual race was held on February 1, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Aleksander Marvel
  • 2nd Place:
  • 3rd Place:

2019 Awards

Our annual race was held on January 26, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Gavin Humphries (Red Ranger)
  • 2nd Place: John Pieczynski (Firebolt)
  • 3rd Place: Kai Bolden (Roblox Racer)

2018 Awards

Our annual race was held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Dominic Ramos (Red Racer)
  • 2nd Place: Jacob Torres ( The Kai Mobile)
  • 3rd Place: Charlie Forte (Remote Racer)
  • Most Unusual: Deklan Dougherty (Poop Mobile)
  • Most Colorful: Sung Il Ryoh (Traveller)
  • Most Detailed: Paul Dzwill (Fast & Furious)
  • Best Design: Ben Thompson (Shark Attack)
  • Best Display: Drew Aldinger (Pizza Pizza) & Leif Hoppel (Rebellion)

2017 Awards

Our annual race was held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

  • 1st Place: Luke Danski (Fast Feet)
  • 2nd Place: Pierce Grom
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Erthel (Bacon Bite)
  • Most Detailed: Leif Hoppel (Nessie the Loch Ness Monster)

2016 Awards

  • 1st Place: Charlie Miller
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Grom
  • 3rd Place: Ben Thompson (The Lightning Bolt)

2015 Awards

  • 1st Place: Patrick Maloney
  • 2nd Place: Caleb Becker
  • 3rd Place: Sean Maloney

Note: Unfortunately we do not have records of all of our winners; if you know of an award winner that is not listed, please Contact Us.