New Pinewood Derby Rules and Procedures for 2019


 Pinewood Derby Rules and Procedures:



Those that desire to race in the tribe and nation races must conform to a strict, common set of rules that ensure that the race is fair and fun for all.


(6 pm – 9pm), we will be setting up the aluminum track but will also have a wood track set up for checkout racing. Please come anytime and do a pre-check for size and weight, if you want. Take it home and fine tune it afterwards if you want. There will be an accurate electronic scale and a calibration weight to ensure the scale accuracy at weigh in. 4.5 ounces is the maximum allowable weight. Higher weights will not compete in the nation race. Post offices have a scale, but it may not be as accurate. All trophy winning cars may have their weight re-checked on Saturday.

RACE DAY: Saturday

(9 am – 2 pm) (times for each tribe will be announced later)

We will employ a Car Inspection Go/No-go Gauge to ensure the car falls within the dimensional requirements set forth in the rules. The car needs to fit in the box to compete in the nation race. 

Derby Car Dimensions are below, and cars built to these specs will fit in the go/no go box:

  • The overall length of the car shall not exceed 7 inches.
  • The overall width of the car shall not exceed 2 ¾ inches.
  • The car must have 1 ¾” clearance between the wheels.
  • The car must have 3/8” clearance underneath the body so it does not rub on the track.

NEW FOR 2019 – If the Car is over 4 ½” Tall it will be disqualified since it will not fit under the finish gate. NEW TRACK Has taller gate!

Only graphite or dry lube is allowed. Only dry lubricant will be allowed on the cars to prevent damage to the track and to promote uniformity. No oils of any type are allowed.

Wheel and Axles: You Must Use the wheels provided in your kit. The rules are very limiting as to work that can be done on these items. Rules regarding the wheels are to specifically prevent the lightening of the wheels by a reduction of material. Suspect wheels will be removed and weighed, wheels weighing less that a stock cleaned up wheel will cause the car to be rejected. Axles can be polished and cleaned up, but that’s about it. The wheels may not be cut, drilled, beveled or rounded. You may remove the seams and imperfections from the wheels.

The axles may be sanded/polished to remove pinch-marks, polished and lubricated. The wheel diameter cannot be reduced past the ridge (rippled) edge and the ridge (rippled) edge must remain intact on the entire wheel.

Wheel treads may not be rounded, tapered, grooved or shaped. Beveling, tapering, grooving or reducing the tread width of the wheels is strictly prohibited.

Car bodies: Wood: The official pine wood block we supply to you must be used. Please use the block provided. It may be shaped in any way that allows it to still fit in the go/no go box. Aftermarket cut out cars or cars not created from the wood provided will be rejected.

Items not disallowed in our rules: We do not have a restriction on wheelbase length, but the car still must fit in the closed Go/No Go box. There is no restriction on spoilers, wing effects, number of wheels touching the track, holes drilled in cars, weight location, shape, or color as long as it fits in the box. There is a maximum of 4.5 ounces allowed, but there is no restriction as to how you achieve that weight. Anything from depleted uranium to Oreo cookies to weight the car is fine as long as the 4.5 oz limit is not exceeded, and it fits in the go/no go box. Lead and tungsten make great weights.

Car Modifications Not Allowed:

  • Wheel bearings, washers or bushings are prohibited
  • The car must not ride on any type of springs
  • No starting devices. The car must be freewheeling.
  • No loose material of any kind, such as lead shot, may be used.


Heats – Each tribe will race together and will be ranked by overall time. Each car will race in each lane at least once. With a 6-lane track that allows each car an opportunity to run 6 times per heat. If a tribe has less than 2 registrants at the derby, they will be combined with another tribe to offer a more complete experience. They will, however, be given awards as a tribe.

Finals – The top 3 cars from each tribe will race in the Nation Finals. Again, each car will race once in each lane and ranked by overall time.

Racing – A track judge will monitor all races and coordinate lane selection based on the racing software. Additional volunteers will assist with collection and lane placement.

               • Every effort will be made to insure fair track alignment.

               • If a car leaves its lane for any reason, the track will be inspected and repaired if necessary.

               • One repeat heat will be run to account for any problems caused by the track. That heat will have the same lane placement as the heat that is being repeated.

               • If the same car leaves its lane again but doesn’t interfere with any other cars, the heat results will stand.

               • If the same car continues to leave its lane and interfere with other cars, it may be removed from the remaining heats at the discretion of race officials.

• Any car that is damaged during a race due to track issues, spectator interference or another car will be given an opportunity for repair by its race team. o No lubricants may be added during the repair process unless deemed necessary by the race officials.

o Backup cars are not permitted to take the place of a registered car.

  Award Categories – Design and Build Awards

               • Most Creative

               • Fastest Looking

               • Most Patriotic

               • Best Sports Theme

               • Lean and Mean

               • Most Colorful

               • Best Paint Job

               • Most Realistic

               • Most Original

               • Nation Chief’s Favorite

               • Funniest Design

               • Cartoon Specials

               • Best Workmanship

               • Super Sonic Design

               • Best Military Design

               • Shiny Car

               • Tribe Chiefs Choice

               • Best Native American Theme

               • If Looks Could Kill

               • Car of the Year

               • Most Surprising Design

               • Best Pop Culture Theme

               • Celebrity Judges Choice


Racing Awards

               • Tribe 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Trophies

               • Car Design and Build Trophies

               • Nation 1st – 5th Place Trophies

               • Outlaw 1st – 10th Ribbons