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2024 Pinewood Derby is On!
Car check-in @ Scout Hall on March 5th
Race will be Sunday March 10th @ Scout Hall from noon-2pm

Have fun designing and building your car.  There are tips and ideas online and linked below.  Check-in of cars to ensure they meet the rules and can be entered into the racing software will be TUESDAY March 5, 2024. Racing will be at Scout Hall on March 10th starting at noon
Please be aware that NO RACE DAY CAR ENTRY will be allowed.  Also please follow the rules, we adhere to these. Cars will be inspected and impounded before racing. 

What is the pinewood derby?

A pinewood derby is a race between wooden cars pulled down a track by gravity.  The cars are built from standard kits by the Cub Scouts with guidance, and where needed, assistance from their family. The races are spirited and fun, and car designs can be whimsical or realistic limited only by the imagination of the Scout and the Derby rules summarized below.  

We encourage the Scout to be the primary designer and builder of their car, but allow them to seek help as appropriate to their skill level.  A Scout will be more appreciative racing a car the help build than a car built for them.  Younger scouts like Lions and Tigers naturally will need more parental assistance. 

DERBY  RULES:   please read

Cars must adhere to rules published by the Marin Council and the Pack.  Some additional pack specific rules are based on the rules for the Annual World Championship Pinewood Derby as posted by the Greater New York City Council. While some points are highlighted all are important.


Total weight of the car shall not exceed 5.00 ounces. The Pack's scale will be the offical arbiter of weight, no exceptions. 

Car length shall not exceed 7 inches Also, no part of the car may protrude beyond the nose of the car where it contacts the gate pin. The front edge must be at least 1/2 inch wide at the midline of the car (to be able to use the track launch gate).  

Car width shall not exceed 2-3/4 inches. Distance between wheels must be at least 1-3/4"

Car height shall not exceed 6 inches (generally a taller car is less stable, the timing gate has a height of about 6" which is why our pack imposes this limit.)

Axles, wheels, and body must be those provided in the kit.  Bearings, washers, suspensions, and bushings are prohibited.  Wheels must be at least 0.36" wide, with a diameter no smaller than 1.170 inches. The tread must be square to the track, without ridges, cupping, or rounding, and tread must be parallel to the wheel bore. Wheels must weigh at least 2.5g each.  Wheels can not be mounted backwards (wheel wall toward car body), be painted, or have internal weights or internal air dams. Fenders are allowed so long as other guidelines are met. All lettering and BSA markings inside and out, including fluting, must be visible and unaltered. The original axle slots must be used (no long wheelbase cars, no elevated wheels). Wheels that are visibly lightened, or flex with compression of the tread or sidewall will not pass. No paint or hubcaps are allowed on wheels. 

All 4 wheels must contact the ground when placed on a level surface. This is enforced strictly as per council guidelines. Bent axles are NOT allowed but axles may be canted. Check your car by tapping it on each corner on a level surface. If any wheel clicks the surface when tapped it will need to be leveled. Do not lift a wheel. Cars with lifted wheels will not pass inspection.

Axles may only be lubricated with dry lubricant (no oils). 

There must be 3/8" clearance under the body so the car does not drag on the track. Please be careful of the clearance, it is best to use the axle grooves provided on the kit, and do not put protruding weights or "axle guards" on the bottom of the car. 

No propulsion other than gravity is allowed. No loose materials can be contained in or on the car. Please don't rely on tape to hold weights on your car. No flux capacitors (is anybody reading this?).

All cars must have the scout's full name and den legibly written on the bottom please.

Pinewood Derby Track
Pinewood Derby Track
Springloaded launch gate

A few notes about the racing:

Please put your scout's full name, den (eg wolf, bear) on the bottom of the car.  To keep cars organized the race organizers reserve the right to place a label or write a number in permanent pen on the bottom of the car. 

Racing results are tabulated by computer, based on fastest average times. It is therefore possible to beat the car next to you in an individual race, or even more than one race, while scoring a lower overall average time. The computer standings will be the final say. Each car will usually race in every lane once to account for any differences in lanes. Trophies will be awarded to the fastest car per den level (eg amongst all wolves), and for the fastest overall car in the pack. The track has seen a number of derbies so some variation from lane to lane is expected and part of the fortunes of racing. 


Once submitted for racing cars can not be substituted or modified. However if damage occurs before or during racing, the race organizers will at their discretion attempt to modify or repair cars to keep them running for the duration of the race.  Please understand our capacity to do this is limited.  Cars will be returned after racing, but the fastest car in each den can proceed on to the Marin County championships at the County Fair and if they want to participate in that race they must leave the cars with the scoutmaster at the end of racing. Marin Council reserves the right to perform their own inspections and reject cars for entry.

Car peeling out - Pack 33 pinewood racer
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