2023 Pinewood Derby

The 2023 Pinewood Derby will be Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Montvale Community Center. This year’s theme is Animals; from simple tiger stripes to a snail car, let your creativity run wild!

Please bring your car to weigh in by dens at the times below. 
2:15 – Lions & Tigers
2:25 – Wolves & Bears
2:35 – Webelo 1 & 2

Races will start at 3 pm promptly with Lions first, followed by Tigers and then the remaining dens in rank order (the oldest scouts are last to race).  Every racer will have 4 heats, so every car goes down each of the four tracks. Once your den has completed it’s heat your family is free to leave or stay to cheer on your fellow scouts and find out who is the fastest in the pack. 

2023 Pinewood Derby Rules

Pay attention especially to the weight of your car, it cannot exceed the weight limit of 5 ounces.  Overweight cars are not allowed to race. If you don’t have a scale, you can check your car’s weight at the post office. 

Racemaster’s track has gates, to make sure you car fits it must be NO taller than 2.75 inches for max height.  Minimum width to fit the track is 1.75 inches and maximum width is 2.75 inches with a clearance under the car of 0.25 inches.  Cars cannot exceed 7.125 inches in length (the car kit is 7″).

  • Please make sure your car will fit the track or it will not be able to race.
  • Cars cannot exceed 5 oz total weight, overweight cars will be disqualified if not under the max weight in time for their heat.
  • No wet paint, glue or wet lubricants are allowed on the track.

This video by Mark Rober runs down the physics behind common characteristics that lead to fast pinewood derby cars. This video was originally shared with the pack by our district.

We’ve had some questions about the derby rules and in the video, Mark goes over some tactics.  To be clear:

  • You must use the parts in in the kit, no specialty wheels, nor can you significantly shave down the wheels.
  • Axle polishing is allowed, but you must use the nails from the kit.
  • Graphite powder is allowed (if you don’t have the special powder you can also use a pencil), no liquid lubricants (e.g. WD40, oil) are allowed.
  • The use of weights is allowed and encouraged.  Small weights that you can easily remove or adjust one will allow you to modify your car if it comes in over weight. 
  • Small screws can make a good tool for fine tuning your car’s weight, as you can easily remove them from the back or bottom of the car if you are slightly over max weight.
Pinewood cars racing
Pinewood cars racing

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