One by one, Cub Scouts climbed up to the starting line and placed their race cars on the track, only to run to the finish line and watch to see how their car finished the competition Saturday at the old Portsmouth High School Gym.
“This Pinewood Derby is for kids from the Tecumseh District, which includes kids from Adams County, Scioto County, and some from Greenup County and some from Lawrence County,“ Scout Leader Phil Malone said. “The Pinewood Derby is one of the feature programs of Cub Scouting since 1954.”
The Derby is run in heats with cars starting by gravity from a standstill on a track and run down a ramp to a finish line unaided. The track is an inclined ramp with wood strips down the center to guide the cars.
After each heat, the computer set up the racing order for the next heat Saturday, and each time, the participants place their cars at the starting line, and Aaron Wright would wait for the signal, then throw the handle that gave all cars an equal start.
“Every Cub Scout Pack can send three from each of their program years ó Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelo,” Malone said. “And then we also have an Outlaw race where anything goes.”
Malone said the winner in each class receives a trophy, and for one year they are the reigning champions.
Malone said all cars are created from scratch.
“You have to buy an official BSA (Boy Scouts of America) kit,” Malone said. “The kit consists of a block of wood, four axles, four wheels. You have to use the axles, you have to use the wheels. you have to use the block of wood. And you get all kinds of different designs and colors. It’s fun to watch.”
Parents, family and friends filled the stands and cheered on their favorites as they competed for the coveted trophies and one of the top three positions in the finals.