Free Pinewood Derby Speed Tips
- Know the Rules for your particular race and even more importantly know the rules for your Council or District race as well if you plan on advancing. Rules at the pack level may not be the same as the council or district level. Make sure you have a set of written rules so you can back up any modifications that you might make.
- Have a question about a rule? Email the question and get the answer back in writing and then print out the answer from your email program. If you have any doubts about a rule, it is better to ask before race day.
- Talk to the person in charge, don't go with second hand information, it will come back to haunt you on race day!
- Involve your child in every decision. The first year you will do almost all of the building because both of you are learning, but make sure your child is right there helping with the decisions.
- Enjoy the process. The results can be joyous or tearful but the process of building a derby car should always be fun!
The 4 critical areas for a speedy derby car:
Full weight on the car. Most divisions only allow 5 oz total weight. I have seen many cars that didn't have the full 5 oz. and they were not able to be competitive. More info...
Weight placement. Most commonly you want as much weight as far back as you can without the front end coming off the ground and as low as you can on the car without obstructing the track. More Info...
Polish the wheels & axles. You want as little friction as possible and this is where most of your friction is built up. There is a specific process to getting this job done. Click here to find out.
Alignment, Alignment, Alignment! Next to polishing the wheels & axles this is the 2nd most important area to reduce friction. Many people don't think about this area and their car hits the rail with both wheels and grinds down the track slowing the car considerably. You must align all four wheels to reduce contact with the track rail. Find out how...
What to do with your derby car after the race is over:
Placement: Whether you win or lose, you still built something meaningful and it should be proudly displayed as such. There are plenty of great cases, shelves and custom made stands that are inexpensive you can purchase. Most common places to display your derby car would be on the TV or fireplace in the living room, a desk or shelf in your child's room, but the the kitchen and home offices are becoming more popular too.
For Others to See: Another way of showcasing your derby cars would be taking them to work and placing them in your office. You could even have them sitting at the reception desk of a waiting room. There really is no wrong way, just be sure to be respectful of other people's work space. Be creative and have fun with it.