Just had our first ever Pinewood Derby. We had a blast. For almost a month, Josh and I have been working his Pinewood Derby car. We sanded the wood with 400 grit sandpaper, polished the axles with 2000 grit paper, sanded the paint job down with 600 grit paper, and carefully placed weights within the car. We also made a mess everywhere with adding graphite to the wheels and axles. Graphite starts flying everywhere (thus the masks – didn’t want to breathe the stuff). It’s been a fun process than I have had a blast in doing with Josh. Scouts is a neat thing that gives us the opportunities to do this stuff.
<– Josh and I getting ready to put graphite in the wheel hubs.
From the beginning, Josh wanted a Dallas Stars car. In asking what number he wanted… Marty Turco. So, having never done a Pinewood Derby, we were a little anxious because you don’t get to practice. Your first race is the first time to see your car run. We began to see that some of the things we learned in Meade’s Pinewood Derby Speed Secrets were working.
Josh made it to the finals. The top 12 cars moved on to the finals. There were about 4 very fast cars of kids (and parents) who have gone through this race before. The finals were very close. You got to race 4 times, and your accumulative time determined your overall placement. Josh took second place overall, finishing .03 seconds behind the first place finisher after 4 races. That is very, very close. The third place finisher was .004 seconds behind Josh. That is too close!
Josh with his Mary Turco #35 Dallas Stars car and 2nd place trophy –>
In fact, Josh’s car went head to head with the first place car 4 times. He beat him once, lost the second race, tied the third race, and won the tie breaking race. 2-1-1. But, the other car had the top speed of the night. I’ll have to upload a YouTube video of Josh doing a fist pump and throwing his arms in the air when he won the tie breaker.
We had a ton of fun. I’m already designing next year’s car in my head, and how we can trim .5 seconds off our time. Here’s 3 reasons why I think it was important to build a car for speed:
- It takes longer to build, which means you spend more time together.
- Watching Josh do a fist pump and throw his arms in the air when he won a race.
- Trophy or not, it’s fun to compete.
This may be one of the #1 reasons to be in scouts! It was a blast (I think I already said that).