Pack 1040's Pinewood Derby Homepage
Race Day
The Derby date is Sunday January 12th, 2020.
Racing begins at 3:30 pm
Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and School, Gym, 
12535 Perthshire Rd, Houston, TX 77024.
Car registration is from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

Pre-register the night, and/or test your car, 
from 6-7 pm

"Be Fast... or Look Good Trying"

The pinewood derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition. The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Every Cub designs and builds his or her own "grand prix" car to enter in the race, with assistant from a parent or adult partner.


Prizes and Recognition

The Derby is about doing one's best and having fun, so all child participants will be recognized.  But that doesn't mean our race winners won't take home some shiny hardware.

Equal Ground

All entries in the derby will start with the "Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit" which includes the body, 4 axles, and 4 wheels.  All nine pieces MUST be used before the car can race. The axle lines may be moved (new holes drilled). The Pack will provide a kit at the December 8, 2019 Pack meeting.  If needed, kits are sold at the local Scout Shop at TC Jester and I-610 (sometimes a restart is needed).Parents and siblings must purchase if they want to participate.  Cars may be weighed up to the maximum 5 ounces of weight.  Cars must conform to certain size restrictions and specifications.  
Decorating the car are up to the imagination of the Cub.
Official Rules

I.  GENERAL RULES: (Applies to all Race Events) 
Two things the Pinewood Derby requires each participant to learn are 1) the craft skills necessary to build a car, and 2) the rules that must be followed. Even more important, though, is how we act and behave while participating in the Pinewood Derby or any other group activity. This is called sportsmanship. 

G-1. Qualification: All registered Pack 1040 Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos Scouts may design, build and enter cars that are eligible to participate in the "Cub Scout Race" event.

G-2. Essential Materials: All cars entered shall be constructed from the "Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit" (referred to below as the kit) as distributed at the December Pack meeting. Additional kits may be purchased from the Scout Service Center. (Kits may be purchased elsewhere if they are of the exact type manufactured by the BSA as specified above.)

G-3. Competitor Categories: All Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos Scouts that are registered within Pack 1040 may enter this Pinewood Derby. Cub Scouts will compete with others in the same Cub Scout Rank. The first, second, and third place winners in each Rank will move on to the finals.

G-4. Attendance: The Cub Scout MUST enter his own car. This means that the Cub Scout must be present at "Inspection and Registration" to enter his car into competition. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of the Pinewood Derby Chairman.

G-5. "New Work": Construction of ALL entries MUST have begun AFTER last year's (2018) Pack 1040 Pinewood Derby Races

G-6. Single Entry per Person: Only one car may be registered by any person in the Pinewood Derby.

G-7. Inspection and Registration: Each car must pass a technical inspection before it may compete. Technical inspection and registration of cars occurs on January 25, 2019 - 6 P.M. to 7 P.M.

G-8. Late Registration and Inspection: Registration closes promptly at 7 PM. Any cars not in the process of registering by this time will have to be checked in Saturday before the race.

G-9. Failure to Pass Inspection: The Inspection Committee shall disqualify cars, which do not meet the rules as described herein. If a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason his car did not pass and have a chance to correct problems and re-submit.

G-10. Impound: No car may be altered in any way after it has been registered. After a car passes registration, the Pinewood Derby Race Committee will store it.

G-11. Car Design Rules Interpretation: Interpretation of the rules described in G1 through G-11, and T-1 thru T-9 are at the sole discretion of the Inspection Committee Judges present during the Registration and Inspection process.

G12. Race-Day Rules Interpretation: On Race-Day, the Cub Scout must make all questions of rules interpretations and procedures to the Pinewood Derby Chairman or Race Officials promptly. Decisions of Race Officials on questions of rules interpretations and procedure may be appealed to the Pinewood Derby Chairman. All decisions of the Pinewood Derby Chairman are final. Decisions of Race Officials on questions of fact (i.e. the result of a specific race) may not be appealed beyond the Track master and/or Finish Line Judges.

Note: Unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or spectator will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area.


T-1. Construction Material: Race cars shall be constructed for this event from the parts contained in the Official Grand Prix Pinewood Derby Kit (referred to below as the kit) as sold by the Scout Service Center. Materials from the kit may be supplemented but not replaced.

T-2. Weight: Race cars may weigh no more than five (5) ounces (total weight) as determined on the official scales during the pre-race check-in. Note: The official scale will be available at the Askew Elementary School Friday, January 26th, 2018.

T-3. Wheels and Axles: The car shall roll on the wheels from the kit. The wheels shall turn about the axle nails from the kit. The axle nails shall be firmly affixed to the wood of the car body. It must be obvious to the judges that the wheels and the nails from the kit are being used.  a) A car may have three or four points of contact with the track, i.e. one axle may be raised.  b) A car may ride on bent axles, i.e the exposed axles may be angled away from the track surface.  c) A car may be a rail-rider, i.e. it may be designed to keep one wheel in contact with the track runner.

T-4. Size: Racecars may be no longer than 7 inches, nor wider than 2-3/4 (2.75) inches, as determined by the official gages during the Registration and Inspection. Underside clearance of at least 3/8 (0.375) inches and inside wheel-to-wheel clearance of at least 1-3/4 (1.75) inches is recommended, so that the car will run on the racetrack. Adequate clearance is the responsibility of the race car builder.  We have jigs to test these attributes.

T-5. Weights and Attachments: Weight may be added to the car and will be considered part of the car for purposes of all measurements. "Weight" is considered to be any material on the car that is not provided in the kit. All weight must be securely fastened to the car, e.g. by permanent glue, nails or screws, but not by "sticky substances", e.g. tape, or tack spray. Weights shall be passive, i.e. non-moveable, non-magnetic, non-electric, non-sticky, etc.

T-6. Wheel Treatment: Wheel treatment (hub and tread smoothing and polishing) may not result in substantial removal of mass nor in reducing the wheel width from the original kit wheels. The original "tread marks" on the wheel face must remain intact, i.e. apparent to the inspector. Wheels may not be machined to a beveled condition or rounded and the portion of the wheel surface that contacts the track must remain parallel to the axle.

T-7. Unacceptable Construction: The following may NOT be used in conjunction with the wheels or axles: hubcaps, washers, inserts, sleeves, or bearings.

T-8. Gravity Powered: The racecar may not be constructed or treated in such a way that the track's starting mechanism imparts momentum to the car. (For instance, this provision disqualifies cars with sticky substances on the front of the car and protrusions, which may catch on the starting pin.)

T-9. Lubricants: Only dry lubricants such as graphite or powdered Teflon "white lube" will be allowed for lubricating the wheels. Lubricants may not foul the track. In the interest of fairness, the only lubrication allowed is before the car is checked in.


Competition will consist of heat races at the Pack level. Track officials are responsible for the proper conduct of the races.

C-1. Inspection Gages: The race-day "Pit Stop" area will have the official scale and length box. That check-in equipment will be the official equipment for the race. (The same 5 oz. Master Weight used for scale calibration in pre-race check-in will also be available on race day. 

C-3. Car Handling Responsibility: The “Starter Team” will stage cars on the tracks.

C-4. Lane Assignment: To equalize differences among track lanes, each car will race in each available lane. The best time is kept. 

C-5. Car Leaves Lane: If, during a race heat, a car leaves its lane but proceeds down the track in a manner that does not interfere with its opponent, then the race will be called normally. If the car leaves its lane and interferes with another car, the race will be re-staged and re-run. If the same car again leaves its lane and interferes with another car, that car will be judged last place and the race will be re-staged and re-run without that car.

C-6. Car Leaves Track: If, during a race heat, a car leaves the track without interfering with its opponent, it shall be considered to have ended its heat at that point.

C-7. Car Repair (Without Fault): If, during the race, a wheel falls off or the car becomes otherwise damaged, then the CUB may, to the best of his ability perform repairs with the assistance of his adult partner.

C-8 Car Repair (With Fault): If a car is damaged due to track fault, or damage caused by another car or person, then the Track master, at his sole discretion, may allow additional repair assistance to the Cub.

C-9. No Finishers: If, during a race heat, no car reaches the finish line on the track, the car, which went the farthest in its lane, shall be declared as the heat winner.

C-12. Track Fault: If a car leaves its lane, at his sole discretion, the Track master may inspect the track and, if a track fault is found which probably caused the initial violation, the Track master may order the race heat to be rerun after the track is repaired.

C-13. The Race Area: Only race officials may enter the track area. This rule will be strictly enforced.

C-14. Rewards and Recognition: The most important values in Pinewood Derby competition are parent/Cub participation, good sportsmanship and learning how to follow rules. The Awards Committee is responsible for recognizing and encouraging these qualities in addition to traditional racing awards. 

C-15. Operation of Race - Checkin.  Once checked, cars will remain under the control of Race officials.  No modifications or addition of lubricant can be made after check-in.

C-16.  Operation of Race - Racing.  Each car will race on each of the lanes of the track.  Cars are assigned by the computer system to ensure each lane is always full.  Racing is not by Den.  Keep an eye out for your car.  Head-to-head buddy races may be available after completion of the derby and award of trophies.
C-17.  Operation of Race - Standing.  As cars may perform better or worse on different lanes, the combined performance of each car on all three lanes will be basis for race standings.  Single lane performance is relevant only to determination of the fastest car.

C-18.  Operation of Race -Trophies.  A first, second, and third combined fastest will be awarded for each Rank level (Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos, Arrow of Light).  A further first, second and third will be awarded at the Pack level. Certificates may be awarded for other assessments by the judging team, including best looking or most original.


This project is a parent and Cub event, and is recommended as such by the BSA. The Pinewood Derby Committee STRONGLY SUGGESTS that each parent emphasize this idea with your Cub. In all of the events, we require that the cars be built this year.


The first thing to remember about sportsmanship is that everyone's skills are a little different. You may be good at something like singing or drawing, but not as good at something else like basketball or computers. Parents have different skill levels, too.  Remember, you and your friends are individuals first and racers second. This idea is often called having respect for others.

The second thing to remember is to follow the rules. Without rules, there would be no Pinewood Derby. You will never know if you are really good at doing something unless you follow the rules. This is often called being honest.

The third thing to remember about good sportsmanship is that there are winners and losers in every competition. You accept this when you choose to compete. There may be times when you win and feel happy, and times when you lose and feel unhappy. Being a winner is easy, and losing is sometimes hard. If you win, you must not brag or gloat. If you lose, you must not feel jealous or bitter. To be a good sportsman, you must be able to say, "I did my best" and be satisfied with the results. You must also be able to appreciate and feel happy for someone else when he runs a good race or builds a neat car.