Pinewood Derby

Our Pack Pinewood Derby Weekend is coming soon – Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 !!!

All cars MUST be delivered to Epiphany Lutheran on Friday, March 22nd between 6:00 – 7.30pm.

The Bear Rank is responsible for hosting and working this event.  A signup will be posted closer to the event.

Test Track – Test Nights 

    • Wednesday, March 20th – 7pm to 8pm – Silvercrest
  • The test track will allow you to make sure your car runs straight and can complete the race course.
  • full test track will be setup to allow testing of cars 2 days before the official check-in on Friday.
  • The track may not be fully setup Friday at check-in – so take advantage of these Test Track Nights!

Check-In & Inspection

  • Friday, March 22nd
  • 6:00pm to 7.30pm
  • Epiphany Lutheran Church Gymnasium
  • Weight and Dimensions will be checked for rule compliance
  • Note: All cars must be checking in and kept at Epiphany overnight.  If you can’t make it, make arrangements for the car to make the check-in with someone else
  • Car Numbers are available here

Race Day

  • Saturday, March 23rd
  • 12pm to 5pm with approximate time slots per rank below
  • Epiphany Lutheran Church Gymnasium
  • Estimated Race Schedule (TIMES BELOW Subject to Change)
      • Lions – 11:00 to 11:10
      • Tigers  – 11:15 to 11:45
      • Wolves – 11:45 to 12:30
      • Siblings & Parents – 12:30 to 1:00
      • Bears – 1:00 to 1:30
      • Webelos – 1:30 to 2:00
      • Grand Finals – 2:00 to 2:30
    • Note: Cars will be run during these times by rank, regardless if the scout is in attendance or not.  The race software requires us to set this up in advance and we cannot alter the schedules.

Check-In Process Summary

  • Check Weight – max 5.00 oz
  • Check Dimensions
  • Check Starting Pin Compliance
  • Check Axles and Wheels (see rules – click here)
  • Check Numbers & Apply a sticker with number
  • Scout provides name of car
  • Check Into Race Software
  • Photograph each car
  • Place in Storage until after race is completed
  • Fastest Cars have the option to participate in the Grand Finals

Check-In Process Detailed

Check 1 – Weight Check

  • Is the weight not more than 5.00 oz (141.748 grams)?

Check 2 – Dimensions Check

  • Is the width of the car too wide?  Limit is 2.75″

Check 3 – Starting Pin Compliance

  • Does any part of the car extend pass the starting pin?
  • The cars are started by a Pin in the front middle of the car.
  • No Part of the car can extend in front of the starting pin.

Check 4 – Track clearance check

  • Will the car be able to run down the track and the center guide?

Check 5 – Wheels and Axles check

  • Do all 4 wheels roll flat on the track?
  • Have the wheels been modified at all?
  • Are the axles inserted at an angle?
  • Are the axles bent?
  • Does the car have an extended wheelbase?
  • From rules, “The wheelbase may not be changed and the axles may not be moved from their original positions.”
  • Distance between the front to rear wheels must be the same as provided on the block as it came out of the box.
  • Extended wheel base cars will not compete with those in compliance with this rule.
  • From rules, “Wheels and axles cannot be modified.”
  • This check will look for bent axles, cantilever wheels (running on edge of wheel), and thinned (reduced size) wheels.
  • See rules for further clarification.  The rules are posted here.

Check 6 – Lubrication Check

  • Is lubricant applied? (dry graphite only – no wet lubrication permitted)
  • Is lubricant messy making the car difficult to handle?

Check 7 – Loose Parts and Wet Paint Check

  • Are there any loose parts?
  • Is the paint dry?

Check 8 –  Number on car

  • Is the number on the car?
  • The preference is stickers on the rear of the car.
  • Please use stickers from box.  Blank stickers will be provided at checkin.
Check 9 – Car Name 
  • Does the scout have a name for the car?
  • Please have this ready in advance.
Check 10 – Accept Car and Photograph Car

As you work on your cars, please remember – the race is for the scouts! Let them make it their own by contributing to all aspects of creating the PWD car that they can safely perform. Parents and Siblings are encouraged to present their unique creations in the Parents / Siblings race. Additional cars are available from the Pack or from Local Scout Shops for $5. If you have any questions after reading below or if you need any recommendations, please email

There will be 2 race tracks at the Pinewood Derby on Race Day

6 Lane Race Track – Race Day

  • Each scout will race once in each lane – 6 times total
  • Average Time across all 6 lanes will determine Fastest Cars
  • Awards for fastest cars per rank will be awarded at the end of each Rank Race
  • Fastest Cars from each Rank will Compete in Race Off
  • Awards for the fastest overall cars will be awarded at the end of the Race Off
  • The Race Off (Grand Finale) will also incorporate a start gate and countdown timer to allow head-to-head racing.  Racer response time will influence the outcome of the Grand Finale.

Loop / Stunt Track– Race Day

  • Scouts can attempt to race their cars in the 2 Loop Stunt Track after they race in the 6 lane race track
  • Note – not all cars may make it through loop
  • Note – not for show cars as damage may occur as the car attempts the loop


  • Rules are located here for download
  • Please email with any questions regarding the rules.

Award Categories

  • Speed Awards
    • Fastest Cars in each Rank
    • Fastest Cars in Pack
    • Fastest Parents / Siblings
    • Fastest Block Cars (cars that obtain original shape with items / paint added)
    • Fastest Extended Wheelbase Car (cars that did not comply to wheelbase rules)
  • Appearance Awards
    • Best Race Car
    • Best Movie Theme Car
    • Best Video Game Car
    • Best Wedge
    • Best Block
    • Best Cartoon Character
    • Best Super Hero
    • Best Scout Theme
    • Best Sports Theme
    • Best Use of Toys
    • Best Scout Built
    • Best Scout Decorated Car
    • Cubmaster & Committee Favorites
    • ** More may be added based on Scout Submissions – BE CREATIVE !!!!
The following are some tips of advice we’ve used in the past. They are good to review!!! Rules: Please take note of the Pack Rules. You must use the wheels and axles that are supplied with the “official” BSA kit. The “Pinecar” kits sold at Craft Stores (such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby) have a solid axle (axle fits across the entire groove cut in the block of wood) – you will not be able to race against the other cars if your car has a solid axle. In our past experience, the solid axle rule has resulted in some disappointed boys. Please don’t make this mistake. Use only the wheels and axles supplied with the official BSA kit.  Official BSA Kits have been distributed to the dens – extras can be purchased from any of the areas scout shops.  The area scout shops also sell different colored wheels if Yellow, Blue, Red, Orange wheels match the overall theme of the car.
Importance of Weight: Your car should weigh as close as possible to five (5) ounces without going over.  The scale will measure to 2 decimal places (e.g. 4.99), so please plan accordingly.  A weight of 5.01 will be considered too heavy.  If your car is light (less than ~4.7 ounces or so), I can almost guarantee you that it will not be competitive. Hobby stores and the scout shop sell kits for adding weight to the cars. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby both have the adhesive-backed weights. You can also improvise using washers, fishing weights, dolls, plastic army men, etc. For the Adult/Sib class – those cars can weigh (8) ounces, without going over.
Wheels and Axles: It is important that you do some work on the axles of your car for optimal performance. The axles contain a “burr” just under the nail head that must be removed. The easiest way to do this is to insert the axle into the chuck of an electric drill and spin it. With a small file, gently remove the burr under the nail head. There are also some raised ridges along the shaft of the axle that should be removed – I do this by sanding the axle (while spinning the drill) with a strip of 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper.

Northern Star District, Bay Area Council