Pinewood Derby Runs On Community Spirit

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At least a dozen years of history has helped the Pack 7354 Pinewood Derby grow through community spirit.

Several years ago, Pack 7354 turned the annual Cub Scout event into something fun for the community and to help youngsters earn their way to camp and other events and pay for the various awards throughout the year.

Derby organizers created Business and Open Classes, selling cars to businesses for $25 and to individuals who wish to race in the Open Class for $10. Business Class awards are trophies and bragging rights for the year. Open Class awards are gift certificates from local businesses.

This year, Macky’s provided a $25 gift card for first place; second place was a $20 gift certificate from Cardo’s; and third place received three movie passes from Sawmill Theatres equaling $18. Each of the Open Class racers also received a car stand for their cars.

This year for the first time, participants could also “hire” a Scout-built car with an extra donation, which proved a popular addition. Moreover, these “participants” don’t even have to show up to race — the scouts will race the car.

The seven-inch-long Pinewood Derby weighted cars run on a 32-ft. sloping track, with wheelbase dimensions dependent on the class. The electronic timer times the runs for the handcrafted cars, with each year’s entries freshly made.

The race management program determines the heats and tracks the times and figures the average MPH.

Racing Pinewood Derby pits business against business and returning competitors against each other.

Cub class is always raced first. This year’s standings are as follows: first, Nicolas Taylor, gold medal; second, Owen Bruner, silver medal; third, Christian Ramirez, bronze medal. Each Cub received a car stand with an inscribed plate attached. This year, Troop 7354 only has the Cub Scouts, but is working diligently to increase membership.

Cub and Open Class car stands were hand-made by Scoutmaster Jeff Leonard, Assistant Scoutmaster Robert Brandt and Senior Patrol Leader Eagle Scout Johnathon Brandt and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Eagle Scout Malcolm Brandt.

Business Class winners were: first, Wayne at Chapman Auto with an average speed of 187.2 MPH; second, Duane for 260 Café with an average speed of 184.6 MPH; third, with a Scout-built car, Carquest Auto Parts, at an average speed of 181.6.

Winners in Open Class were: first, Johnathon Brandt, who had another Scout race his car as he was on computer and timer duty; second, Malcolm Brandt; and third place Terri Keith, with a car made by Scout Emerson Carr.

Pinewood Derby is held every year, usually in February and this year raised more than $1,000.

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