Pinewood Derby Racing 2009

Just like last year, the Pinewood Derby races for Duncan's Boy Scout troop took place at his school this afternoon. Some very smart person decided that it should be on the Saturday this year, so as to not try and compete with the Super Bowl tomorrow afternoon.

Last year, Duncan's car got the prize for wackiest car. This year Duncan was a Webelos 2, so it was his last chance to go for a trophy (unless we adopt a kid, enroll him as a boy scout and then let Duncan enter as a sibling -- probably when he's just entering high school).

Duncan came up with the design and I helped with getting the weights hidden in underneath, and polishing the axles. His car won two heats, and was in the Webelos 2 den final with one other car. His car lost that by about four inches. He was very excited to have second place and a trophy.

Pinewood Derby veterans will know that there is an electric score board on the track that gives first to fourth positions as the cars go through the finish line. Earlier in the afternoon, there was a dead heat in another two car final (both cars coming in first according to the scoreboard). Pandemonium occurred. Even in the next race between these two cars, the winner only won by an inch or so.

The final races of the day were for siblings, and it was nice to see a block of wood (the original piece that comes in the kit) win a couple heats and take second place in their final. I presume there must have been some weights embedded underneath to get it as close as possible to 5 ounces, but it was good to see data backing my theory, that it's mostly in the polishing of the axles and the wheels and not the aerodynamics of the body shape.

This father & son racing team will now be disbanded. Hopefully look for future teaming in a science or robotics project.

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