Pack 137 Pinewood Derby Rules

Last Update 2023

The goal of these rules are to ensure that all participants have a fair race using the same set of rules and to ensure that cars that advance to the District and Council Races comply with their associated rules.

Specifications for Cars

Inspection & Impound

  • Vehicles will be inspected during Pack registration for compliance to all specifications. Cars that advance to the District race will be inspected by a team of District officials once all Pack races are completed. Cars damaged during racing and repaired must pass District Pinewood Committee inspection. If a vehicle fails inspection, the owner will be told the reason for failure, and will be given time within the official registration period to make adjustments. Cars failing inspection may be raced but are ineligible for awards.

  • Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying Pack races. After being impounded, repairs will be limited to the replacement of axles/wheels that are broken/lost during the race. After impound, only race officials will handle vehicles. Repairs are performed by the Scouts pit crew. Please lubricate cars BEFORE impound. There will be no application of graphite at the District races. It is too messy and has become a time consuming process in years past. Raceday is for racing. Have racers complete the graphite process at the end of Pack racing.

Vehicle Specs


  • Official BSA kits, typically supplied by the Pack must be used.

  • Pre shaped (kit) cars are not allowed.

  • Bodies of other materials will be grounds for disqualification.

  • The body may be shaped, hollowed out, or built up as long as it meets all other specifications.

  • Any additions to the body such as a steering wheel, drivers, paint and decals must be attached firmly.

  • If any weight falls off the car on raceday it cannot be reattached.

  • No part of the vehicle body may protrude past the starting gate.

  • Only vehicles constructed this scouting year are eligible to race.


  • The vehicle width at the wheels may NOT be modified.

  • It must be the same as the original kit.

  • No wider than 2 3/4 inches.

  • This allows the car to fit on track and not obstruct vehicles in the next lane.

  • Material may be added to the side of the car but not be wider than the wheels.


  • Overall length should be appropriate for the kit used.

  • Pinewood derby cars are 7 inches long. (To fit in the starting gate).

  • The car can be shorter as long as the front wheels do not extend beyond the front of the car.


Overall height may not exceed 5 inches. (To fit under the scoring finish line)


Minimum 3/8 inches from the bottom surface of the car. (To clear the track center guide rail)


  • The wheelbase may not be modified. It must be the same as the official kit.

  • The distance from the center of the axles must be 4 7/16 inches.

  • New axle slots may be cut but the distance between the front and rear axle must be 4 7/16 inches.

  • Extended wheelbases will not be allowed, shorter wheelbases are not seen as an advantage and are allowed.

Wheels & Axles:

  • Wheels must be those furnished in the official BSA kit, or other official BSA wheels sold at the scout shop.

  • BSA wheels only, no other manufacturer.

  • BSA Wheels are available in Black, Red, Blue, Orange & Yellow.

  • Wheels may be sanded to remove the flashing (mold marks) only.

  • Do not remove the words ‘BSA Pinewood Derby from the sidewall.

  • NO reduction in width or diameter.

  • NO change in shape to the wheels or axels.

  • The BSA logo should not be sanded off from the sidewall of the tire.

  • Wheels may be lubricated with dry graphite only. NO liquid lubrication.

  • The original nail/axle may be cleaned up by removing burr and molding marks.

  • NO 1-piece axles, NO washers, NO bushings, NO bearings, NO springs are permitted.

  • NO aftermarket axles.

  • All 4 Wheels are required to touch the track.


  • Cars must not exceed five (5.000) ounces, We use one scale for all cars.

  • Our scale is the official scale for this event.

  • Cars will be reweighed before the Council races.

  • Our scale is accurate to 0.005 ounce.

  • Cars may show as 5 ounces on a less precise scale but be overweight on the official council scale.


  • Vehicles must free wheel with no stored energy or movable weights.

  • The kit has no designated front or back to the supplied body, either end may be the front.

  • Racing numbers will be placed on the top of the car at the rear.

  • Please mark the car with ‘F’ or ‘Front’ on the underside of the car to indicate the front of the car.

  • The front of the car should have a square nose where the car meets the starting pin.

  • No indentation on the nose where the starting pin touches the car.

  • The car must meet the starting pin and be completely behind the pin.

Guiding Rules:

The Pinewood Derby is meant to be a family activity with as much of the building being done by the Scout with guidance and assistance by their family. If a building technique or rule was not addressed in this document, clarification can be asked of the Pack Pinewood Committee.


  • Cars may be lubricated one time between the end of Pack Racing and the District Derby.

  • This should be done by the scouts pit crew at the end of Pack racing, before impound.