Pack 800 Pinewood Derby

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Cub Scout Pack 800 Pinewood Derby Rules

One (1) official car kit will be provided by the pack.  Additional car kits are available for siblings and parents for a nominal cost.

Each kit contains 1 car block, 4 wheels and 4 nail axles.  This is the official Cub Scout kit and there are no substitutions.  Only components from the official kit distributed this season are allowed.  No other sources can be used.  No cars or parts from previous years are allowed.  Any deviations will considered to be “Open” class cars and will not be eligible for “Speed” awards” 

Scout cars will be judged in light of ability and level of achievement by scouting level.  Each car should show a joint effort by parent and child.  This is a shared scout/parent project, not a parent race or project.  Have fun, but let your child decide what to build.  The parent and sibling race is a separate race after the Scout event.

Deadline for the car weigh-in and impound is specified in the Pack800 Pinewood Derby Information page.

Design judging for Scout cars will be done on Thursday night.  Judging will be on effort and ability of child’s involvement based on the scouting level.  Parents may help with the design idea, basic shaping, and wheel alignment.

The child should help think up the design idea, help with the shaping, and do the paining and decorating of the car.

Once all cars (Scout and parent) are weighed in they are impounded until their first scheduled race time.  Car will be available for graphite immediately prior to the races; however, no additional graphite will be allowed after racing starts.

Scout Design Awards will be presented during the Derby event.

Speed awards will be presented after the completion of the racing.

Cub Scout must be present during the race in order to participate in the Speed event.  The individual scout racer must handle their car during the race.  Scouts are responsible for carrying and handling their own cars.  Be careful not to drop your car during handling and racing, they won’t last.  Dropping a car once is usually enough to break it.

Official Weigh-In:

The official weigh-in will occur at the time and location posted in the agenda on the Pack800 Pinewood Derby Information page.

Minor last minute weight adjustments (adding weight) will be allowed; however, car must be complete and ready to race when presented at weigh-in.  No graphite, construction, painting or finishing at weigh-in!

If you miss the official weigh-in then you can still participate, however your car will not be eligible for the official Scout Speed or Design contests. You can still participate in the "Open" class race at the end of the evening.

Tips: A penny ($0.01) weighs 0.1 ounce.  It’s better to build the car slightly under the limit and adjust up than to have to remove material at the last minute.

Race Time:

Race times depend on the number of cars participating and may deviate from the times posted in the agenda.

Car Specifications:

Only the official kit from the Pack may be used.

Width not to exceed 2 ¾ inches.  Length is not to exceed 7 inches.  The height is not to exceed 3 inches.

Track clearance is 3/8 inches to successfully straddle the guide rail.

Weight is not to exceed 5.0 ounces per official Pack 800 scale.

Axle spacing is not defined however to be eligible for the Blackhawk 500 District event, axle spacing must be 4.4 inches +- 0.125 inch (1/8 inch).

Any material added to the car for decoration or weight adjustments must be securely fastened to the car.

Wheel bearing, washers, bushings, and shaped, narrowed, or split axles are prohibited.  The original axles may not be changed in any way, shape, or form, except that burrs and ridges may be removed and smoothed.

Lubricating with graphite or other dry lubricants is permissible.  No liquid lubricants are allowed.

Graphite will be available at the race.  You may apply whatever amount of graphite that you want prior to your first race.  Once racing begins, no further graphite may be applied.  Reapplying graphite or any other lubricant at any time after the start of the  races will result in disqualification from the speed event.

Graphite is messy.  All application of graphite must be done outdoors.  There will be a table setup outside for use during the application of graphite.  No graphite is allowed indoors.

No starting attachments are allowed.  Car must be freewheeling.

Only the stock (Cub Scout kit) wheels and axles may be used   Correction of manufacturing imperfections will be the only modification of stock wheels allowed.  There can be no modifications to the basic wheels other than smoothing of the wheel surfaces that contact the racetrack track, the sides of the car and the axles.  Burrs may be removed from the axles; however, original axle size and shape must be retained.

The width of the wheels may not be altered from the original kit.

Enhancements such as drivers, fenders, wheel guards, windshields, wings or shark-fins are acceptable as long as the maximum dimensions are not violated.

The car must have been entirely made during the current racing season.  No cars or parts used in previous years are allowed.

Speed Contest:

On the day of the race, all cars are subject to inspection by the officials and are subject to disqualification if any of the specifications are violated at any time.

Cars will be placed in random lanes or cycled through each lane as required to allow each participant to race in each of the lanes.

One of the two following formats will be used to determine the winners:

  • Miss-and-out
  • Top speed with lane rotation

    Cars will be placed in random lanes or cycled through each lane as required to allow each participant to race in each of the lanes. The racer continues to race until he receives for (4) last place finishes.   Heats will be reviewed after every ten (10) races to ensure a balanced race.

    Top speed with lane rotation:
    The timer determines the elapsed time for each run. The fastest time out of all of the runs will be used to determine the final place.

    All cars must start by gravity from a standstill.  No pushing is allowed.

    The car whose nose is over the finish line last will be considered the last place car.  Cars that fail to complete the course will be deemed to have finished in last place regardless of the number of cars in the heat or race.

    Pack 800 uses an electronic timer.  If the car leaves the track and affects the outcome of the race, the race may be rerun at the discretion of the Pack 800 official.  If the car leaves the track a second time, or interferes with other cars, though no fault of the official race starter or spectator, it is automatically disqualified.

    The Pack 800 scale is the official weigh-in scale.  Ultimately it doesn’t matter what it weighs on any other scale.

    All cars remaining in the race at the Design Award presentation break will be impounded and reinspected during the Design Award presentation.  (NO ADDITIONAL GRAPHITE MAY BE APPLIED).

    Speed Awards:

    Speed awards will be given for First through Sixth place cars.  These six (6) Scout cars will advance to the Blackhawk 500 and be sponsored by Pack800 if the cars do not violate any of the Blackhawk 500 eligibility rules.  This District race is usually held in April.  All other cars are encouraged to attend the Blackhawk 500, especially the cars that win the design awards.

    Once the final four cars are determined, four (4) final races will be run with each car running in each lane of the track to determine the fastest car.

    “Open” class race

    After the completion of the finals, the parents and siblings are invited to participate in the “Open” class race.  “Open” class includes parents, siblings, or Cub Scouts who have cars that do not qualify for the “Speed” race.  For example, missed the official weigh-in or used ineligible components, or cars that broke and needed to be repaired during the event.

    The top four winners from the previous year are encouraged to bring their winning cars from the previous year, to compete in the Open Class race.

    Design Awards:

    Cars must be weighed-in and impounded Thursday night to be considered for the Design  Awards or Speed Awards.

    Design Awards are for Scout Cars only

    The following factors will govern the judging of the contest:  Originality 40%, Quality of workmanship by child 30%, and General appearance 30%.

    Design award categories:

    1. Best Detail Work
    2. Best Paint Job
    3. Fastest Looking Car
    4. Judge’s favorite
    5. Most Colorful
    6. Most Futuristic
    7. Most Humorous
    8. Most Original Design
    9. Most Realistic
    10. Strangest Shape

    Suggested Tools/ Finishes

    After rough sawing, one effective shaping tool is made by gluing a strip of rough sand (garnet) paper to a strip of wood.  Finish using sandable primer/sealer, and then enamel paint.


    All decisions made by the race committee during the race are final and are not subject to review.


    Volunteers are needed!!!

    Help weigh-in, organize and register the cars, assemble and disassemble the track, officiate the races, organize the boys, and clean-up after the races.

    Without your help this event cannot occur.