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Pinewood Rules

Cub Scout Pack 205
(Middletown, New Jersey)
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Pinewood Derby Rules

The Pinewood Derby is designed to be a fun and exciting event for our scouts.  It gives parents an opportunity work together to help their child build something, then watch it perform. 

If you are a first time Pinewood Derby builder…3 Pieces of Advice:

1.You must add weights to your car.  Try to get it as close to the 5 oz. weight limit.  If you do not add weight, the car will not finish the race and will stop before the finish line.

2.Be sure all 4 wheels spin freely, and the axles are as straight as possible.  Crooked axles or stuck wheels can also prevent the car from crossing the finish line. 

3.Enjoy the process of spending time with your sons.  Teach them how to build the car, don’t just build it for them.  



1.All cars entered must be newly built, using all new parts after January 1 of the current scout year from the stock materials provided in the Official Pinewood Derby Racing Car Kit.

a.NOTE: Reusing car bodies, axles or wheels fromprevious years is a violation. Cars should be newly built from scratch eachScout year.

2.With the exception of decorative and construction items (weights, glue, etc.) only materials from the official kit may be used.

3.Adult partner supervision, guidance and assistance is encouraged and allowed,however, Scouts should substantially, within their own abilities, build the majority of their own car. No prebuilt/kit “eBay” speed cars or “dad built”cars allowed. Professionally modified, “hobby shop”, or pre-modified purchased parts including, but not limited to, speed wheels, axles and bodies, even if they claim to be, or are labeled “Official BSA” are prohibited. It is expected that all car construction and modification will be done by the Scout with assistance as needed from his adult partner, starting with the stock BSA kit.

4.Cars must be tuned or aligned by the racer, and adult partner. Cars may not be sent to third party facilities for tuning or other performance enhancements.

Length, Width and Clearance

1.The wheelbase (distance between front and rear axles) may not be changed from the body kit distance of 4-1/4".

2.Maximumoverall width (including wheels and axles) must not exceed 2 3/4".

3.Minimum width between wheels shall be 1-3/4" so the car will clear the center guide strip.

4.Minimum clearance between the bottom of the car and the bottom of the wheels shall be 3/8" so the car will clear the center guide strip. It is recommended that weights on the bottom of the car be inset so they are flush with the bottom of the wood block.

5.Maximum length of the car shall not exceed 7".

6.Maximum height of the car shall not exceed 5".

7.Cars may not protrude beyond the starting line mechanism.

Weight and Appearance:

1.Weight of the car shall not exceed 5 ounces (141.7 grams). The readings of the Official Race Scale will be considered final. The car may be hollowed out and built up to the maximum weight by the addition of wood or metal only, provided it is securely built into the body or firmly affixed to it. No loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.

2.Using tape (masking, scotch, etc.) to hold weights on the car is allowed but it is RECOMMENDED that all weights and accessories be glued in place to avoid weights falling off mid-race to avoid interfering with other cars. Please have all weights securely fastened.  Note: Any weights that fall off are not considered a “mechanical problem” thus are not repairable during the race.

3.Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting, and interior details are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length,width, height and weight specifications.


1.Only dry powdered lubricants, such as graphite, may be used.

2.Cars may be lubricated before inspection. No other lubrication will be permitted.

Wheels and Axles:

1.Onlythe official Scout Grand Prix wheels and axles can be used. Axles may bepolished. Solid axles are strictly prohibited.

2.Wheels may be lightly sanded to remove the mold projection on the tread. This light sanding is the only wheel modification allowed. Beveling or tapering of the wheels is prohibited. No rounding or spiking of the wheels is permitted.  Hubcaps and wheel covers are prohibited.

Wheel bearings, washers, or bushings are prohibited.

4.Cars hall not ride on any type of springs.

5.Cars must be freewheeling with no starting device or other propulsion.

6.Axles must be inserted into the car body parallel to the track surface. Axles inserted at a positive or negative angle, thus tilting the wheel so that it rides on the inner or outer edge is prohibited. The entire wheel tread surface must sit flat against the track surface when the car is placed on the track.

Weigh In / Inspection:

1.Cars will be inspected during registration for compliance to the specifications.

2.Each car must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Team before it may compete.  The Inspection Team has the right to disqualify those cars that do not meet these rules. Car owners will be informed of any violations and given an opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules.

3.Cars can be re-inspected at any time during the race.  If the car does not meet specifications, it must be brought into compliance before its next scheduled race or be disqualified. A maximum of five minutes will be allowed a participant (or his designated adult) to bring his car into compliance.

4.Any participant (including a parent or guardian of a participant) has the right to appeal to the Judging Committee for an interpretation of these rules. The Judging Committee, by majority vote, will be the final interpreter of these rules. In case of a tie vote, the decision of the Cubmaster will be final.

5.Ungentlemanlyor unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or member of the audience couldbe grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area.

Race Day:

1.All cars will race a minimum of 4 races within their age groups (Tiger, Wolf, Bear,Webelos I and Webelos II).  The top 3 from each division will move on to the finals. The Pack winner and runner-up will be eligible to compete at the district race. 

2.All cars will be impounded in Racers Alley immediately upon completion of inspection. No racer shall handle or touch any car following final weigh in and registration.

3.Only race officials will be permitted in the track area. This rule will be strictly enforced.

4.If a car suffers a mechanical problem during a heat (loses an axle, breaks a wheel, etc.), the participant or a designated adult will have up to five minutes to fix the car. The heat will be rerun.

5.If a car suffers a mechanical problem after a heat, the participant or a designated adult will have five minutes or until its next scheduled heat to fix the car. The heat will not be rerun.

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Pinewood Derby Rules.pdf