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Pinewood Derby 2020

Cub Scout Pack 43
(Safety Harbor, Florida)
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Pinewood Derby: 
January 2020

2020 Rules and Regulations

Welcome Race Fans to the Official Rules of Pack 43's 62th Anniversary Pinewood Derby Race!  

While these rules may seem quite extensive, most of these are previously established by the BSA and will allow the boys who win their dens race to move on to further racing events that may take place in the District or Council.  The number one rule is to have fun, and have the boys do their best.  I would ask that the boys participate in as much work as possible on their cars.  

Please note: while most of the rules remained the same, there are some minor changes from last year and each racer is responsible for knowing them.  In addition the Gummy Bears and Grumpy Bears class are now prototype/modified classes with new rules. 
Icon File Name Comment  
Pack 43 Pinewood Derby Rules and Regulations.docx  

All cars must be built for the current Pinewood Derby Racing Season. NO REPEATS or REPAINTS. Cars must be tuned or aligned with the racer,adult supervision is encouraged. Cars may not be sent to third party facilities for tuning or other performance enhancements.

Car Dimension Rules 

• The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.

• The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾inches.

• The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.

• The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body soit does not rub on the track.

Derby Car Weight Rules

• The car shall not exceed 5.00 ounces. (Please note the change this year to the 1/100th due to stricter weight requirements at District last year)

• The official race scale that is used at car check-in shall be considered final.


Car Body / Dimensions

Wheel Base : Wheels must be attached to axles in located in original axle grooves.

Height : Not to exceed 3" inches...

Length : Not to exceed 7" inches...

Width : Not to exceed 2-3/4" inches...

Weight : Not to exceed 5.00 ounces (143 grams) measured on 1/100th digital scale


Additional materials may be added as long as they meet the rules.

4 BSA Axles & 4 BSA Wheels MUST be installed to the side of the car body directly across from one another.



a. Minimum diameter .084

b. Axles must have a the original BSA nail head AXLES:

c. BSA Nail type axles are required with an overall diameter of no less than .084 inches for each wheel

d. Axles must not be connected to any device that mechanically alters rotation or spin.

e. Axles must be mounted into the wood sections of car.Drilled holes or slots can be used.



Use only Official Scout Grand Prix wheels.

A.  All lettering/numbering, both inside and outside, must remain complete and be visible. The fluting and other BSA markings on the outside wheel area must remain visible. Outer wheel surface may be sanded, shaved, or polished to remove surface imperfections, mold casting burrs, and correct off center wheel bores. Outer wheel surface must not be reshaped in any way in an attempt to minimize tread contact or alter aerodynamics. Tread surface must be flat and parallel to the wheel bore. Coning the hubs and truing the inside tread edge is allowed.Tread width may not be less than 7.5 mm. You may add material such as glue,fingernail polish, or tape, to the inside of the wheel to aid in balancing of the wheel, but no material may be removed from the inside surfaces. Minimum diameter of wheel is 1.16” to maintain the ridges on the outer edge.

B.  Wheel Bore treatment is allowed including polishing and/or tapping. Wheel bores may not be filled and re-drilled to alter bore diameter or to achieve better fit with the axle.

C. There must be at least four wheels on the car, and all four wheels must make contact with the track surface.


The following wheel modifications are PROHIBITED:

A. Rounding of tread surface/wheel edges or grooving,H-cutting or V-cutting

B. Altering of wheel profile or Drilling sidewalls

C. Hollowing, sanding, or otherwise removing or modifying material from inside the wheel

D. Narrowing the tread surface, other than truing inside tread edge

E. Filling of any wheel surface with any type of material 

Please note: There are after-market modified wheels that are LIGHTENED. This is usually done by turning the wheels on a lathe and removing.

material from the inside of the wheel. These wheels are NOT allowed and EASILY RECOGNIZED at inspection. Cars with these wheels will not be permitted to race.



• An official BSA pine wood block must be used. The block maybe shaped in any way that is desired. Per District rules: Prefabricated cars (such as the kit cars sold at Lowe) and non-wood cars are PROHIBITED.

Front End

Height: Due to the track launch pin, the front of the car must rest against a short starting pin. Therefore the front bottom of the car which rests on the pin can be no higher than 1" above the track.

Width: The front end must be at least ½ inches wide in the middle.

No part of the car body, wheels or attachments may protrude in front of the starting peg.

The car design may be enhanced by the addition of other stable materials such as plastic or metal. Any additions must be firmly attached and meet Car Size Requirements.


The following Modifications are NOT allowed

a. Starting or finish line devices

b. Electronic or lighting devices

c. Glass or extremely fragile parts

d. Paint that is wet, smudges or extremely sticky

e. Bearings and/or Bushings (this includes washers or metal plating between the body and the wheel at the axle points)

f. Sharp objects, sandpaper or abrasives on the bottom of car (We do not want any damage to the track)

g. Axles and/or wheels attached to any device that mechanically or alters rotation and spin

h. Any part of the car to go beyond the starting peg before the peg is completely lowered.

j. Propellants

k. No liquid lubricants of any kind. This includes WD-40,Nyoil, or Krytox.

Siblings and Adults (New rules for 2014)

Sibling and Parent (Prototype) Class:

Siblings and Parents will race in a separate class hereafter known as the Gummy Bear/Grumpy Bear class.  These cars will NOT be inspected to the same level as the scouts, as they cannot advance to future rounds.  The basic rules of size, dry lubricant, safety (BSA wheels and axles), and weight (under 5 ounces) apply. BSA wheels and axles are required for safety, but can be (heavily) modified. Other than those basic rules, this class allows further modification than the Scouts allow.  These class' are also known to NASCAR fans as the "Have at it boys" class...  

Material: The car must contain some part of the Pinewood block.

Height : Not to exceed 4 1/2" inches...

Length : Must fit on the starting line with a 7" wheel base front to back...

Width : Not to exceed 2-3/4" inches...

Weight : Not to exceed 5.0 ounces for Gummy bears (143 grams), and not to exceed 10 ounces for Grumpy bears (286 grams) measured on 1/10th digital scale

BSA Wheels and Axels: No modification limits other than you must start with the original BSA wheels.

Lubricants: Dry Lubricants ONLY. No liquid or Gel lubricants allowed (this is because we have a wood track that can be damaged by the oils)

Propulsion systems: Allowed, but NO rocket engines, or systems that can cause fire.  All other air or mechanical drive systems which do not require intervention of the racer is allowed.  This means no remote controls, or manual operated triggering.  The car must operate independently of outside forces. (Other than that... Have at it boys and girls)

Misc. Rules: There are none...

Gummy Bears: All Non-Scouts Age 1 – 11

Grumpy Bears: Age 12 +

Any Scout Cars which fail repeated inspection due to excessive modification can and will be placed in the Sibling Class.  This decision will be made at the discretion of the Race Committee Chair Person, who's decision is final. 


Questions may be addressed to the Race Officials. The Pack Race Officials may be contacted at 

Inspection and In-Race Rules


Inspection and Pinewood Derby In-Race Rules

• Once a car passes inspection and is entered into the race, only race committee members may touch it.

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

• 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.

Please Note: No part of the car or any attachment to the car may be capable of coming into contact with the track other than the wheels.



  • Cars must be ready and to the Inspection station no less than 30 minutes before racing begins.

Each car must pass inspection by the Official Inspection Committee before it may compete. The Inspectors will disqualify any car not meeting these rules. Any adult or scout may appeal the findings of the Inspectors to the Race Committee Chair-person, whose decision is final. After acceptance only race officials will handle the cars.

  • Cars may be reclassified or disqualified if they are determined by the race officials to not meet these requirements.
  • Once a car is turned in to the Race Committee for inspection, it will not be returned for any changes or modifications. 
    • Request for returns of a car which is passing inspection will be denied.
  • Cars which do not qualify will be immediately returned with a description of the exception and instructions on what should be completed to meet requirements.     
  • Excessively Underweight cars:  It is at the discretion of the Race Inspection Committee and Race Committee Chair-Person to request additional modifications to any car which is deemed to be EXCESSIVELY UNDERWEIGHT even if it meets all requirements established in the rules.  An excessively underweight car can be a safety hazard and will be returned to the Racer to allow them to only add additional weight.   

Any Scout Cars which fail repeated inspection due to excessive modification can and will be placed in the Sibling Class.  This decision will be made at the discretion of the Race Inspector and/or the Race Committee Chair Person, who's decision is final. 


Any car losing wheels or any part that prevents it from running can be repaired after the inspection and weigh in. Race officials will authorize repairs, usually when damage is caused by collision with another vehicle or object. The Cub Scout is in charge of all car repairs. Guidance is allowed and encouraged. Ideally repairs can be done before the next heat that the car is in starts (approximately 5 minutes). After the car is repaired Officials will run the car alone to verify repairs are properly made. If it again has a failure an additional 5 minutes will be allowed, and tested again.  If the car fails a second repair, it will then be retired from the event.  Retirement decisions will be made by the Race Committee Chair-Person, whose decision is final.


GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP AND BEHAVIOR IS EXPECTED BY ALL. Race Officials may ask anyone not following this rule to leave.

Wagering of any kind between individuals or groups is not allowed and Race Officials may ask anyone not following this rule to leave.

Weight Materials and the Law


Tungsten, Steel, Zinc or other non-hazardous metal are preferred weights in use in the BSA.  All current BSA approved weight kits are Zinc or Tungsten metal.

Lead(Pb) Weights: PLEASE avoid Lead(Pb) in cars! (Fishing,scuba, tire, or solder weights) The drilling/removal of Lead(Pb) will NOT be allowed at the race venues or at check-in time due to the toxicity of the material.  If you decide to ignore the law* and put Lead(Pb) into a child’s toy, the Lead(Pb) must be completely sealed and safe from all possible contact with the youth.  (Pack 43 Note: This is not our rule, but will strictly enforced as it is BSA Policy and the law.  Any car with exposed Lead(Pb) weights will automatically fail inspection and not allowed to race in ANY class.)


*In August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety ImprovementAct was passed, which restricts the amount of lead and phthalates that may becontained in children's toys (ages 12 and under).  

The Lead-Free Toys Act is a chemical regulation thatrequires the CPSC to ban children products containing more than a trace amountof lead.