Council Pinewood Derby Races

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

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 regarless 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.

New for 2023 - Four regional events and a grand championship!

The 2023 regional Pinewood Derby races are scheduled to be held on March 18th, March 25th, April 1st, and April 8th.  More information about dates, times, and locations will be available in the Fall of 2022 via the link below.  Following the regional events, top finishers will qualify to attend a Grand Championship race to determine the top cars per rank.     

Registration for 2023 Regional Pinewood Derby Events - Coming Fall 2022

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.  

2023 Northern Star Scouting Pinewood Derby Rules - Coming Fall 2022

General Tips for Making a Fast Car

There are many websites that will give you tops 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.

Contact us

Ben Coder

Activities and STEM Director

Warren Kalsow

Pinewood Derby Chair
Council Pinewood Derby Races