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Boy Scouts fight for supremacy at Pinewood Derby
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With cars sizzling down the track at a blazing 200 mph, by scale, the annual Pinewood Derby has become an eagerly anticipated event for local scouts.
“They cover 29 feet in 2.34 seconds and that works out to about 200 mph by scale,” said Black Fox District scout leader Scott Moore during Saturday’s annual meet at Three Star Mall.
The Pinewood Derby has been a staple of scouting here for decades, with Cub Scouts preparing their lightweight cars for competition.
“It has to be a regulation Pinewood Derby kit, but then they can fix them up any way they want as long as they come in under five ounces,” Moore noted. “We get some pretty interesting designs, many of them very unique.”
There are awards given for the top three spots in speed and top three spots in design. The competition first has races by troop and the top spots from there advance to afternoon district competition. There are five packs from Warren County joined by packs from White, DeKalb and Van Buren counties. About 50 scouts participated in this year’s event.
The races are held on the Black Fox track which has been in use for about 20 years. The track has a timing device that is worthy of the Olympics as it measures speed down to the thousandths of a second, tracking the cars from starting gate to finish line.
According to scout leader Nick Gawel, they hope to extend the Pinewood Derby to adults in the near future.
“We would like to have an adult competition,” said Gawel, noting it would be fun to have the night before the scout races. “We would make the weights up to 10 ounces but otherwise have the rules the same as the scouts.”