Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pinewood Derby Races

Dane won 1st Place in his Den and 2nd Place overall in the 2010 Cub Scout Pack 711 Pinewood Derby!

On Saturday, January 9th, 2010
, about , about 70 boys from 1st grade to 5th grade gathered at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Pflugerville for the annual homemade model car race. This is Dane's first time to race, having started this year as a Tiger Cub scout (1st grader).

By day's end, Dane had beaten out every other kid in the Pack except the Cub Master's son!

Dane first had his car inspected to be sure it met the race rules. The car could not weigh more than 5 ounces, had to use the official kit wheels and axles, and had to meet the regulation dimensions. Den Leader Doughty checks the car over.

We studied the official race track, wondering which lane was the fastest. A video camera with a live feed displayed the finish gate on the projector screen to the right of the track. Everyone was sure to have a terrific view to see how fast Dane's car was.

While we waited for the other kids to sign in, Dane jumped in line to share a joke with the crowd. "Chuck Norris walked into a restaurant and ordered a steak. The steak did what it was told! Hahaha."

Pretty soon, the race was on! First, each Den (grade level) competed against one another to earn a top-three finish and advance to the Pack finals. Each car raced three times, once in each lane, to eliminate any lane bias. Not that lane choice mattered to the superfast flyer Dane had built. Dane's car blew away all the other first graders!

Here Dane's car lined up at the starting gate in the middle lane. His car is black and gold with the white headless Lego man. (You'll have to ask him why his man didn't have a head, but he insisted on no head.) Mr. Arndt is ready to start Dane's first race.

And they're off!

In a different heat, Dane's car in the right lane is just a touch behind but edging towards the lead.

The finishes happened so quickly that we couldn't get a clear snapshot of any of them. But needless to say, Dane swept the Tiger Cub Den, taking 1st place at that level. Here he poses with his participation patch and 1st-place ribbon for winning in his Den. He has just a hint of a smirk after placing so well in his age bracket.

After a quick lunch break for hot dogs, chips, and lemonade, his car entered the Pack finals. Now 15 boys (3 from each grade level) were racing against one another in an all out effort to claim the top prize. Dane flew past every other car except the Cub Master's son, who barely topped Dane. When it was all over, Dane had the 2nd fastest car in the Pack! According to the computer measurements, his car had a scale speed of 213.8 mph while the average car in the finals achieved a scale speed of about 208 mph. (The winning car was just a hair faster, 214.1 mph.)

Here Dane poses with Cub Master Stivers and the 1st and 3rd place winners. He has a bit of a cheesy smile because he'd just finished a bag of Cheetos.

Dane poses next to the finish line with his trophy and car. He was pretty proud of that trophy.

Dane wasn't the only winner that day, though. Mason decided to build a car and race it in the Adult category. A lot of the Dads and older siblings wanted in on the action, so a separate category was opened: the 12-and-up "Akela" class. Here's Mason posing with his black and brown zoomer -- which came in 2nd out of about 12 adults!

And he was off! Mason's car is in the right lane.

Congratulations, Mason! Below, in a different heat, he's crossing the finish line in the lead (again!). He didn't win a big trophy like Dane, but he got a lot of bragging rights out of his win!

Cub Master Stivers congratulates Mason on beating the field at the adult level.

We had a fantastic race day and retired to the house to celebrate our victories. Way to go, guys!

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