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Typical Pinewood Derby Car rules. It's as easy as ABC! 

Example of pinewood car


 Pinewood Derby Rules

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These are the rules we used for our Cub Scout Pack Pinewood Derby race. Rules may differ, so be sure to read and abide by the rules for your race.


Following are the inspection points

1. The car weight shall not exceed 5.0 ounces. The official race scale shall be considered final.
2. The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
3. The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
4. The maximum height of the car cannot exceed 5 inches (Adjust this limit so that the cars will pass under your finish gate).
5. The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
6. The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body.
7. The wood provided in the kit must be used. The block may be shaped any way that is desired.
8. The wheels supplied with the kit must be used. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seam from the wheels.
9. The axles supplied with the kit must be used. They may be polished or lubricated.
10. Wheel bearings, washers or bushings are prohibited.
11. The car must not ride on any type of springs.
12. The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices.
13. No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, may be used.
14. All cars must have the scout's name on the bottom of the car.

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 specifications.


Some optional Pinewood Derby rules
that you may want to add

  • The car body may have no moving parts.
  • If, during a race, a car leaves the track without interfering with its opponent, it shall be considered to have ended its heat at that point.
  • If a car leaves its lane, at his sole discretion, the track chairman may inspect the track and, if a track fault is found which probably caused the initial violation, the track chairman may order the race to be rerun after the track is repaired.
  • If, during a race, 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.
  • If, during a race, a car leaves its lane and, in so doing, interferes with another racer, then the car at fault shall be declared to have lost the race heat.
  • Construction of ALL entries MUST have begun AFTER last year's races - or - cars must be built new for this season and cannot have been raced in previous years.
  • Only one car may be registered by any person in the Pinewood Derby.
  • Only dry lubricants such as graphite or powdered teflon "white lube" will be allowed for lubricating the wheels. Lubricants may not foul the track.
  • Only one lubrication is allowed before the beginning of the first race and then once again before the beginning of the first race of the semi-finals and finals.
  • Details such as the steering wheel, driver, decals, painting, and interior detail are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and weight specifications.
  • Cars must be powered by gravity only!

New rules that some races have added recently

  • The front of the car cannot be designed to gain an unfair advantage by shortening the distance between the start pin and the finish line sensor and the car design cannot otherwise interfere with a fair start.
  • The bore of the wheels may be reamed, coned, and polished, but not otherwise altered.
  • Drilling holes in the wheels is not allowed.
  • The axles should not be mounted at an angle or deliberately bent in order to tip any of the wheel treads to an angle.
  • No part of the car can extend past the starting pin.
  • If a car jumps off the track or jumps to a different lane, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps off the track a second time, it will automatically lose the heat.
  • If a car suffers a mechanical problem and a repair can be accomplished within 5 minutes, the heat will be run again. If not, the car will automatically lose the heat.
  • The front most and rear most wheels must be positioned across the body from one another.
  • Lead weight, if used, must be completely sealed and safe from all possible contact with youth.

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