Council Pinewood Derby Races

Build your car and see how it stacks up at your Pack and Council races!

Due to low registrations, our regional events will be merged into a single council championship later this spring.  those registered for a regional event will have the opportunity to move their registration to the council championship.  more information to be posted on the registration site soon.  Update 3/15/23.

What is a Pinewood Derby Car and Race and when are they generally held?

From a block of wood, four plastic wheels, and four nails, a Scout produces a vehicle that can reach 20 mph! Cars are raced on tracks with two to six lanes where using only gravity to speed them along.

Racing starts at the Pack Derby Race, generally held in January through March (but can vary), where the cars are run in different heats and lanes. All Scouts regardless of place finish in a Pack race can move on to any of Northern Star Scouting's regional races. Open classes will be offered to Scouts and family members that are not currently registered in the Cub Scouting program at each of the regional events.

What are the rules for the Council Pinewood Derby Race?

Read the full set of rules posted on this page to make sure your car won't get disqualified!  Units are encouraged to use the same ruleset for their Pack-level race.  

See the "Documents to Download" section on the right-hand side of this page to download a copy.  Outside of the participation age range, the ruleset is the same as the 2022 and 2021 documents.  

General Tips for Making a Fast Car There are many websites that will give you tips and tricks on how to maximize the speed of your car. Always keep in mind, the Northern Star Council's derby rules will be the ones that you need to follow.

Here are a few tips that will help:

  • Maximize your allowable weight
  • Weight should be in the rear of car in front of rear axle with the balance point 1-1.25 inches in front of rear axle.
  • Use the slot closest to the end of block for rear axle.
  • Low profile, smaller surface in front and larger in back.
  • Wings, sails, flags, etc. catch air and will slow down the car.
  • Make sure axle slots/ holes are perfectly parallel to make the car track as straight as possible.
  • Lubricate wheels and axles with graphite and work in thoroughly. Graphite works best after a break-in period, so don't use between races.
  • Polish nails/axles.
  • Remove flashing around nail head.

2023 Council Championship

The decision was made the week of March 13th to postpone our three regional events due to low registrations and the inability to offer competitive races across all rank levels.  We are still dedicated to ensuring a Pinewood Derby option is available to youth this Spring, and are working on a consolidated event to take place in early June.  Once details are finalized you can register using the link below.  We apologize for not being able to follow through on the regional events, but hope that you will be able to join us for a single council championship later this Spring.

2023 Council Championship Registration - Coming Soon

Contact us

Ben Coder

Activities and STEM Director

Warren Kalsow

Pinewood Derby Chair
Council Pinewood Derby Races

Documents to download