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Cars of all styles come out for pinewood derby

From Pikachu and Flash Gordon to Lego and Super Mario the cars came in all styles as the Cub Scouts of Pack 43 hosts its pinewood derby Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

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Pine Tree District Executive Kenneth Toole launches derby cars down the track as Cub Scouts from Pack 43 watch Friday during the Pack’s pinewood derby at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd. (Photo by Trina Johnson)

From Pikachu and Flash Gordon to Lego and Super Mario the cars came in all styles as the Cub Scouts of Pack 43 hosts its pinewood derby Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd.

"We had 19 Cub Scouts enter their cars in the race," said Cubmaster Ann Scheinost in a news release. "We also had several siblings enter cars to compete against the cubs in a separate bracket."

Pinewood derby is one of the most popular activities for the Cub Scouts. The Scout starts with a block of wood about 7 inches long, 1.75 inches wide and 1.25 inches tall. The wood block weighs about 3 ounces. From there it is all about the imagination and woodworking skills to turn the block of wood into a car they will race on race day. The boy can make it into almost anything they want but have to keep it within the parameters of the track and it can't weigh more than 5 ounces.

Joe Johnson, a den leader with Pack 43, served as one of the race officials.

"All of the cars are weighed in before the race and then are impounded and the race officials handle the cars only after that," said Johnson.

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"Pinewood derby is awesome," said Eric J. Johnson, 10, a Webelos Scout.

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After the cars are all checked in, the bracket is built and it's time for racing. The race official loads the cars on the track making sure they are centered and then the boys give the countdown and the cars are launched. The cars race down a slope and then 20 plus feet of straight-a-way side-by-side until passing through an electronic scoring mechanism to ensure accurate timing and fair results.

"Some of our finishes are just fractions of a second apart so the electronic scoring is mandatory," said DJ Collins, a den leader with Pack 43. "It's exciting to see and hear the boys cheering as the cars race for the finish line."

"Pinewood derby is awesome," said Eric J. Johnson, 10, a Webelos Scout.

The winners at the pack level have the opportunity to advance onto the district level race, which is scheduled Saturday at the Westgate Mall, where they will race against the winners from the other packs throughout the district, said Kenneth Toole, Pine Tree district executive.

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Pine Tree District Executive Kenneth Toole launches derby cars down the track as Cub Scouts from Pack 43 watch Friday during the Pack’s pinewood derby at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd. (Photo by Trina Johnson)
Pine Tree District Executive Kenneth Toole launches derby cars down the track as Cub Scouts from Pack 43 watch Friday during the Pack’s pinewood derby at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brainerd. (Photo by Trina Johnson)

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