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Pack 29 Pinewood Derby Simplified Rules

Car Specifications:

Parents are expected to work with their scouts to create the car.  The scout should do as much of the work as they are capable of and is safe.  If the parent needs to do the majority of the work then the plan is likely too complicated and should be re-thought.

 All cars must pass the following inspection to qualify for the race:

  •  The car MUST be newly built for the current Cub Scouting year.
  • Car is to have a wood body, 4 wheels and 4 nail style axles. Only official BSA Grand Prix Pinewood Derby wheels and axles are allowed.
  • The wood body is to contact the starting pin. Nothing may protrude in front of the starting pin.
  • The final decision of whether a car is legal and qualified to race shall be entirely at the discretion of the race officials present.
  • The maximum overall width of car, including wheels & axles, shall not exceed 2 3/4(2.75) inches.
  • The minimum width between the wheels shall be 1 3/4(1.75) inches.
  • The minimum clearance between the bottom of car (including weights) and track surface shall be 3/8(0.375) inch so the car will clear the center guide strip on the track.
  •  The maximum overall length shall not exceed 7 inches.
  •  The maximum overall height shall not exceed 4 inches so car will clear timing mechanism.
  • The wheelbase (distance measured from the centers of front & rear axles) may not exceed 4-3/8 inches.


  • Total car weight shall not exceed 5 ounces on the official scale and the time of inspection.
  • If lead is used, it must be embedded, covered or coated so as to prevent skin contact.
  • All added weight and decorative items must be firmly attached. No liquids or loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.
  • Purely decorative items are allowed, if they meet the dimension or weight specifications.
  • Cars with wet paint, coating, glue or finish will not be accepted.


  • Wheels may be sanded or polished to smooth out molding imperfection. This is the only modification allowed. Modifications such as reshaping, thinning, or lathe turning are prohibited.
  • Axles may be straightened, smoothed and polished to remove burr marks. Axle modifications, such as grooving, or machining to reduce diameter are prohibited.
  • Wheel or axle bearing, washers, bushings, pads and hubcaps are prohibited.
  • The car shall not ride on any type of suspension made from components other than official BSA.
  • The car must be freewheeling, with no starting device or other type of propulsion.


  • Only dry lubricants such as graphite will be allowed for lubricating wheels and axles.
  • Additional lubrication will not be allowed after car has been weighed in, or during race.  This rule is still being evaluated and may change.

 Registration and Inspection

     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 those cars that do not meet these rules.

     You can have your car inspected as many times as you need, and time allows, to get it to conform to the rules. 

     A sticker with a number on it will be put on your car as part of the registration process.  This sticker must be visible but you can have input as to the exact placement.

     Your car must weigh in at no more than 5oz at the time of the inspection.

     Once your car has been passed inspection and has been registered, it will be taken and put on display in the Carpenter Elementary School until race day.  No one but the race committee will have access to the cars during this time.

     Only registered scouts can enter a car into the Official Derby division.  All other can be entered in free-for-all division.

On Race Day

     All parents and scouts are expected to show good sportsmanship and scout spirit.  Poor sportsmanship conduct by either the Cub Scout or his parent(s) will result in the disqualification of the Cub Scout. Whether winning or losing, Cub Scouts are expected to display good sportsmanship and act dignified at all times.

     Only race committee members are allowed to handle the car except in the cases stated.

     There will be two divisions.  The Official Derby division is for registered cub scouts.  The winner of the official derby division will go on to race at the District Pinewood Derby.  The other is the free-for-all division.  Anyone else who would like to enter a car (including parents, siblings, family, and friends) can enter this division and we will race them.

     If the car loses a wheel, or is otherwise damaged, the racer shall have 5 minutes to make repairs.