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Cub Scout Pack 417
(Loves Park, Illinois)
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Pinewood Derby 2019

Our scheduled race times will be on Sunday April 14th at Pecatonica High School in Pecatonica Illinois. All racers MUST report to their scheduled area 15 minutes prior to their race times for check in.

Tiffany or Reid Mlsna will have all cars on race day.


1st Michael Buckman III 1:30
2nd Jeff Dowling  1:30

1st Jace Jordan 1:25
2nd Teddy Mlsna 1:25

1st Daniel Lee 1:35
2nd Jonathen Smith 1:35

1st Taylor Mendez 1:35

2nd James Jordan 1:10


Since this is the first year that Lions have been allowed to race at Council Pinewood the rules are a little bit different. I have copied DIRECTLY from the council pinewood derby page:


"We will be racing all Lions together on one track, they will not be divided into winner or runner up tracks. If two Lions are entered from one pack, we will be sure not to race them together.

Note that Lions will not participate in best design contest during this first year. Inclusion of Lions in best design judging is being considered for future years, but the first year of lions participation will include racing only.

Race Day Arrival

When your pack arrives to distribute their cars, give your Lions their car and direct them to the Lions racing area. the Lions will register, have their cars inspected, and proceed directly to the race as soon as the track is free and other racers are available.  Lions will not have predefined race times , but instead proceed in the order in which they arrived at the Lions racing area. "


Aaron Schindler
Jeremiah Abramowicz

(Lions can arrive to collect cars from 417 between 12:15 and 1:15)

All best design winners are scheduled to check in at 12:15, They may check in 15 minuets early.

Tigers: Mike Dowling

Wolves: Bryce Mendez

Bears: Michael Carter

Webelos:Eric Swanson

AOL: Steven White

An honorable mention to Ryan Ruppert that was our Lion Best design

If you have any questions please contact Tiffany Mlsna at 815-997-6137


2019 Pinewood Derby - St. Bridget Pack 417


Race location: St. Bridget Parish Center Main Hall, 604 E. Clifford Avenue, Loves Park.


Sat., Jan. 19th             Saint Bridget’s Derby                                                                   
08:00 am                    Volunteer arrival time

08:30 am                    General admission / Registration Begins / Concessions            
09:30 am                    Registration Closes (late entries will NOT be accepted)

09:50 am                    Welcome and announcements

10:00 am                    Webelos II & Wolves Prelim Races

10:15 am                    Webelos I & Tigers Prelim Races

10:30 am                    Bears & Lions Prelim Races

10:45 am                    Sibling/Adult Prelim Races

11:00 am                    Adult races

11:15 am                    Design Judging

11:30 am                    Finals

11:45 am                    Awards Presentation & closing

12:00-2:00pm          Cleanup, track disassembly and boxing of cars that qualify for council

Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee before it will be allowed to compete. The Inspection Committee has the responsibility to disqualify cars that do not meet the specifications (cars will be allowed modifications on-site to meet specifications).

A minimum of 2 adult volunteers are needed for inspection and registration for each group of racers.


Once the car has qualified to race, it will be stored by the pit crew and only returned to its owner when it is due to race.  Please show your child how to properly place his car on the track and how to retrieve it.  Please do not let your child touch anyone else’s car.


There will be some entertainment in the adjoining room for children who are not currently racing.  This will consist of movies, coloring books and race-themed activities.  At least 2 adult volunteers are needed in this area at all times.  During their race times, racers must be near the track area so that they are ready to race when called.  TV viewing will be turned off once the design voting and race finals begin.


We would appreciate parental supervision to keep the kids away from the tracks when it is not their turn to race.  Each track area will be roped off; please do not allow your child to cross, go under, or hang on the roping.  Seating will be available around the tracks for all those wanting to watch the action.


Outside food and drink is permitted in the facility.  Concessions will include a small breakfast menu with juice and coffee (volunteers needed).  Water, bathroom facilities and a coatroom are available on site.


1. The car weight shall not exceed 5.0 ounces. The official race scale shall be considered final.  (The postage scale at the post office will give you a fairly accurate weight.)
2. The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches (be sure to always trim some wood from one end because the provided block will be longer than 7 inches after adding paint); height shall not exceed 3 inches.
3. The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
4. The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
5. The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body.
6. The wood provided in the kit must be used initially. The block may be shaped any way that is desired, and wood/hardware may be added.
7. The wheels supplied with the kit must be used. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seam/plastic mold ‘flash’ from the wheels, but do not remove the ‘crown’ – there must be an edge.
8. The axles supplied with the kit must be used. They may be polished or lubricated.
9. Wheel bearings, washers or bushings are prohibited.
10. The car must not ride on any type of springs.
11. The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices.
12. No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, may be used.

13.  All four wheels must touch a flat surface (will be checked by rolling by finger pressure on the table).


The racing format will be as follows:  In the preliminary round each car has (6) races - twice in each of 3 lanes with as many different opponents as possible.  Race times will be measured by computer, and (for groups with four or more cars) the three cars with the lowest combined time will qualify for the finals.


Volunteers are needed at the tracks during race time for the following tasks:

  1. Pit crew / lane judges (3/track), each of whom must assure that the right car is properly placed in their designated lane for each heat in each race, and is safely returned to the pit afterwards.
  2. Starter (1/track), who controls the starting gate for each heat, keeping it closed until the signal is given and then letting it open freely to start the cars and timer for each heat.
  3. Track time recorder, who operates the computer timing program, sets up preliminary and final heats, provides instructions for starting each heat, and determines if any heats need to be re-run.
  4. Head judge / alternate, who is available to assist in any of the tasks above, or substitute when one of the other volunteers needs a break.  Also facilitates voting and results recording.
  5. Announcer and awards presenter, who keeps the audience apprised of “what is going on”, makes sure everyone is engaged in the excitement, and presents awards at the end. 


Design judging will be handled as follows: each racer will be allowed to vote for one car in their race group to receive the best design award.  The car with the most votes in each group wins.  In the event of a tie, the official(s) will choose the winner.


If a car is at the top for both speed and design, the owner will need to choose which category he will compete for in the finals.  A finalist space will open up for the next car in line in the category not selected.


There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place racing trophies and a 1st place design trophy for each group.  For the racing finals, each car will race once in each lane against the other two finalists, and placement will be determined by the lowest combined time.  The 1st place design award will be determined by majority vote. In the event of a tie, the official(s) will choose the winner.


Also, there will be a Sportsmanship trophy and participation ribbons for all participants.

The following individuals will each get one vote on the sportsmanship award for their group: pit crew members, starters, and each den leader.  In the event of a tie, the Cubmaster will choose the winner.  Trophies will be awarded when racing is finished, with nameplates provided sometime in February.


For Webelos

- Tiger scouts only, the top 2 racers and the design winner in each grade will advance to the council competition in Pecatonica (April 13th).  The cars must be boxed up and brought there by the race chairman, and must remain sealed until they arrive at their respective check in desk for that event.

2019 Blackhawk Area Council PWD race info

Example Pinewood Derby car designs

Nov 26, 2013

Here are photos of 11 cars I helped my boys build over the past 7 years.  8 were raced in scout races and 3 were raced in sibling races.

Each car ended up in the top 3 for their race group, and some earned design awards also.

My oldest boy was focused on speed, and his 6 cars (back row in first photo) were all very flat designs with long wheelbase.
All were heavily weighted toward the back, with some experimentation with holes (bee and viper) & aerodynamics (some tapered tails).
He also used front wheel notches (with help) except for the sea serpent, which he built as a 6th grader.
The idea behind the notches is to limit the maximum angle of wobble, reducing the distance the car has to cover on a zigzag path.

My younger son was more interested in thematic design elements and familiar characters.  His 5 cars are in the front row.
The rules state that you must use the block of wood from the kit, but can add weight, decorations, drivers, etc.
We've always interpreted that to mean that the main support structure that the axle nails go into is the original pine block.
A couple of his designs used fenders (from the same block, though balsa or lighter materials should be OK).
These were mostly to fit design concepts, but they also improve aerodynamics around the wheels, reducing air resistance.
To minimize forward weight, we used Mylar transparency sheets (painted on the inside) over a hollow shell or lightweight foam.
The subway car was a further twist on this idea, with air actually flowing through the hollow shell.

Having the center of mass as far back as possible provides the maximum potential energy (the only source for kinetic energy).
But taking this too far can cause other problems, and it has to be considered against other design aspects. 
The viper was so back heavy, it constantly flipped over when the front hit the stopper at the end of the track.
A less-than-smooth stop can really wreak havoc on some car designs more than others.  Stopping mechanisms vary by track.
The tapered front was also an experiment we may not try again.  The support was weakened and broke several times.
Not only can a break create a stressful situation in a race - you never know if a rushed repair will hold or maintain alignment.