2020 Annual Convention Derby

The AACA Library is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a pinewood derby-style event on Friday evening during our Annual Convention in Philadelphia.  The date for the 2020 Derby is Friday, February 7, 2020, immediately following the Region & Chapter’s dinner.  You can enter a car made from a kit or made completely from scratch.  As long as the cars adhere to our dimensional and weight specifications, they can race.  There is no age limit (young or old) and the $25 entrance fee will go directly to our Building Fund. Scroll down to register and read the rules for the event.

Weigh-in and inspection will be held between 8:00am and 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020 at the AACA Library tradeshow booth.  All cars that pass the weigh-in and inspection will be sequestered by the library staff until after the final races on Friday night.  

This Derby is meant to be a fun-filled event for all attendees and every Convention attendee will be able to attend the event.  Please review rule items 11 and 12 for race format details.  Awards will be presented for the top race finishers and select “styling” awards.

The Library will not be selling any car kits but they can be found online through retailers like Amazon or in many local toy or hardware stores.  Remember, cars can also be built from scratch.  The cars can be built in any shape and with any add-ons within the limits of the rules.  Please remember, there are NO POWDER LUBRICANTS (GRAPHITE) allowed. 

The races will occur on a two-lane wood track. The track will be fitted with a finish line and computer-aided timing equipment.  The track will be assembled immediately prior to the race by library staff

Attached is the list of rules that will create a level field among all participants and to ensure fairness.  THE RULES WILL BE ENFORCED!

We hope you have fun building the car and look forward to seeing your creations!

Sincerely,

The Race Committee (The Library Guys)

Pinewood Derby Registration Form

Fields marked with a * are required.

The Rules

  1. The decisions of the Race Committee are final.
  • While the car can be built from a kit or from scratch, the wheels must be plastic “pinewood derby wheels.”  Please note the wheels are not to be modified in any way from their basic flat tread design.  Light sanding of the tread area is acceptable to remove plastic flashing and to smooth the tread, but the tread is to remain flat with the same width and basic diameter as supplied. Wheels will be inspected at weigh-in.  Cars with non-compliant wheels will be disqualified. 
  • No powder lubricants of any kind are permitted.  The Race Committee will apply a drop of oil to each axle/wheel prior to the race.  If a powder lubricant is applied prior to the oil, not only will the oil and powder cause a gumming of the wheels, the car will be disqualified.
  • The cars must meet the following dimensional and weight specifications:
    • The car shall have a maximum width of 2 ¾” as measured by the inspector.
    • The car shall have a minimum width of 1 ¾” measured at the point where the axles enter the body of the car as measured by the inspector. The minimum width of the car may vary otherwise as desired by the builder.
    • The car shall have a maximum length of 7” as measured by the inspector.
    • The car shall have a maximum height of 3 ¾” as measured by the inspector.
    • The minimum clearance between the car and the track is recommended to be 3/8” but cars will not be disqualified as long as they are able to roll down the track.  A section of the track will be available for testing on inspection nights.  
    • Each car shall have a wheelbase of 4 3/8”.  Most kits include precut for the axles – these precuts need not be used – separate holes may be drilled.
    • The wheels may not extend beyond the front of the car.
    • The front of the car must be at least ½” wide where it contacts the starting post (center).
    • No part of the front of the car may extend beyond the starting post (center).
    • Each car shall have a maximum weight of 5 ounces as measured by the inspectors. Weight may be added to the car to achieve the maximum weight.  Be advised that scales may vary – only the official scale will be used for the final measurement.  It is suggested that coins or other weights be brought to inspection to be added to the car to bring up the car’s weight.  Cars that are too light might not reach the end of the track.
  • Wheel bearings, washers, bushings and axle sleeves are prohibited.
  • Springs or other types of suspensions are prohibited.
  • Cars shall be presented for weigh-in and inspection before 4pm on Friday, February 7th at the library trade show booth.  All of the weigh-in and inspections are to ensure all cars are five ounces or less and conform to the dimensional requirements listed above. After a car has successfully passed weigh-in and inspection, it will be sequestered and no further modifications will be permitted.  If a car fails inspection, the owner will be informed and allowed to make the necessary corrections up until the close of Friday’s weigh-in. After the corrections are completed, the car must be presented for re-inspection.  If the car successfully passes the re-inspection, it will be sequestered.  Cars that do not pass inspection will not be permitted to participate in the derby.
  • The inspector shall not accept measurements made by unofficial means. Only official scales and gauges will determine the inspector’s official weights and measures. The inspector’s reading of these measurements is final. For the purposes of the race it is more important that all cars conform to common measurements than to standard measurement. The official scales and gauges provide a common measurement and shall be used to measure all cars without exception.
  • On race day all cars will be placed in a staging area and only race officials will be permitted to handle the cars.  The purpose of this is to reduce the possibility of handling damage by overzealous participants.
  1. A race official will write each participant’s name and/or a number on the bottom of the car with permanent marker. This information will serve as identification for the officials conducting the race. Participants may paint and decorate their cars in any manner they wish; however, we do ask that the bottom of the cars be a light color in order to receive this marking.
  1. Cars will randomly be assigned to racing groups.  Members of each group will participate in three heats. Total elapsed time for all three heats will be used to determine the finishing order. Only the top car in every group is guaranteed a spot in the Finals.
  1. The Finals will be a single elimination, stepladder, match race format. Participants in the Pack Finals shall include the 6 group winners and the 10 fastest non-group winners. Cars will be seeded in the stepladder based on total elapsed time for each car from the den races.  For example, the car with the lowest elapsed time will be seeded #1 and the car with the highest elapsed time will be seeded #16. In the first round of the finals, #1 will race #16, #2 will race #15, and so on until #8 races #9.  The first round winners will advance through subsequent rounds based on position in the bracket.
  1. If for any reason a car leaves its lane or the track during a heat, the heat will be declared invalid for all entrants. The heat will be rerun after any required repairs to the errant car. Should the same car leave its lane or the track in the rerun heat, the heat will be declared invalid again and the offending car will be disqualified from the event. The heat will be rerun for the other participants.
  1. Should a car sustain damage (for example, a wheel falls off) during the event, a race committee member will repair the damage. If the car cannot be repaired it will be disqualified.  If weights or other non-essential materials fall of the car, they will not be re-attached.
  1. No one will be permitted to lean on or touch the track. A violation of this rule during the race of a heat will cause the heat to be void and the offending individual(s) warned. A second violation will result in disqualification.

In addition to racing, cars will be judged on appearance (must still comply with above rules and qualify to race).  Prizes will be awarded in 5 classes: Silliest, Most Representative of AACA, Most Realistic, Ugliest, Best Overall.