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Pinewood Derby Rules 2008

2008 Pinewood Derby Rules 

Length, Width, & Clearance:

  • Maximum overall width (including wheels & axels) shall not exceed 2 ¾”

  • Minimum width between wheels shall be 1 ¾” so car will clear center guide strip

  • Minimum clearance between bottom of the car and the track shall be 3/8” so that the car will clear the center guide strip

  • Maximum overall length shall not exceed 7”

  • The wheel base (distance between front and rear axles) may not be changed.

  • Maximum height from the track to the top of the car shall not exceed 3 ½”

Weight & Appearance:

  • Weight shall not exceed 5.000 ounces. The reading of the Official Race Scales will be considered final. They may be hollowed out and built up to the maximum weight by addition of wood or metal, provided it is securely built into the body. No loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.

  • Mercury shall not be used for adding weight. It is a potential health hazard.

  • Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting, and interior details are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and height specifications.

  • Cars with wet paint will not be accepted.

Wheels & Axles:

  • NO ROUNDING OR BEVELING of the wheel is permitted.

  • Milling and turning of the wheels is especially prohibited.

  • Wheel bearings, washers, or bushings are prohibited

  • The car shall not ride on any type of spring

  • The car must be free-wheeling with no starting devices or other propulsion

  • Only the die cast markings on wheels can be sanded off. At the time of judging, all four wheels must rest flat on table, no wedged wheels


  • Only dry graphite may be used

  • Cars may be lubricated before inspection. After car has cleared inspection, the car may NOT be touched again by participant or others. Lubrication will be added once, and not at all during the races

Supplies & Equipment:

  • Participants will bring own graphite and repair kits

  • Participants are responsible for their own alterations (either adding or subtracting weight) in order to qualify.

  • Keep in mind, these alterations may be done throughout the 5:30-8:30 time slot on January 26th. A few tools will be available for use at the church, though it is recommended that you bring your own tools to save you time.

  • Time saving tip: if you have a home digital scale, try to get your car as close to 5 oz prior to bringing it on Friday night so you don’t need to make as many adjustments at the Registration event.

Ground Rules:

  • Cars must have been made for this race. Cars made for previous derbies are not permitted

  • If a car jumps off the track, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps off the track a second time, it will automatically loose the heat

  • If the car leaves its lane and interferes with another car, the heat will be run again. If the same car causes a second interference, the car will be disqualified

  • If a car suffers mechanical problems (looses an axle, breaks a wheel, etc.) the participant will be given 5 minutes to make repairs. This is the maximum that any major heat will be delayed.

  • Only race officials will be permitted into the registration and track area. This rule is strictly enforced.


  • It is a good idea to have your 5th place winner in Cubs, your 4th place winner in Tigers, and your 2nd place winner in Open Class, be listed on your registration with the Council. These participants should be informed that he is an alternate, and that he will be allowed to race in the event that any other participant cannot race or becomes disqualified.

  • It is a good idea to impound the winning cars to insure no alterations or damage prior to race day

Inspections & Disputes:

  • Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection team before it may compete. The inspection team has the right to disqualify those cars which do not meet these rules. Car owners will be informed of violations and given an opportunity to modify the car to meet the rules.

  • Any participant or parent has the right to appeal rules set by the committee and Scout Show Chairman. Objections must be made prior to the actual Scout Show Date, giving adequate time to make changes if the committee and chairman feel that the suggestion is justified.

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by a participant or member of the audience can be grounds for expulsion from the race

Awards & Recognition:

  • Recognition ceremony will run like the 2006 race. Approximately a week prior to the race, approximate race times and awards ceremony times will be emailed to the pack so families can make arrangements around other activities that day. Typically the race day will run from 9 am to mid afternoon, though racers do not have to be present the whole time, just for their races and awards ceremony.

  • Trophies will be given for the top three cars in the pack

  • Medals will be given for the top three cars in each level (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelo)

  • Ribbons will be given to all participants for the design competition.

  • Keep in mind, as in all previous years, all winners at the Pack level will go on to the District Race Finals at the yearly Scout Show at the Fairgrounds in April. These cars will be impounded by the race officials until that time. Please prepare your son, if he wins, he will not be receiving his car back until late April!!!

Parent / child Competition:

  • Parent competitors will be expected to follow the above rules.