Michael's First Pinewood Derby

The first step was to weigh in his car.  It came in at 4.85 ounces which is well within the 5 ounce range.

Next he got assigned his "generic" car number (17), His car got a sticker and he got the number written on his hand.  From this point on they would take his car to the appearance judging and directly to the races.  No more modifications would be allowed.

Michael's Den wait trackside for the races to begin.

This is the field he raced against.  Twenty other cars in his age group.


Michael watching his car finish.  Each lane would register the finish order, first through fifth, this would be entered into the computer driving the races.  Points were awarded for the finish order, 4 for first, 3 for second, 2 for third, 1 for fourth, and 0 for fifth.  The computer generated five heats and alternated cars and lanes, so each car raced against all the other cars and in all the lanes.  Overall points would determine the winner.  This was much more sophisticated than I expected.

Michael's fourth heat.  His car is the red one with the white strip in the far lane.  He is leading at this point by about one inch. He won this heat.

Michael Wins First Place!!!

After five heats, they announced there was a tie for first place between Michael and another boy.  I was totally surprised and didn't get any pictures of the race off.  Basically, they raced one more heat head to head.  Michael and the other boy got to pick the lane they wanted.  In this final race, Michael came in first by about one inch.  This is a pictured of the stunned champion with his trophy.  The little girl is Mary from his class at school, she wanted to be in the picture.

All the trophy winners from the Tiger Cub class.  From left to right: Michael - First Place; Nick - Best of Show(His car was driven by Tony the Tiger and was painted with tiger strips); The second place winner (I didn't get his name yet, he is in another den).

Michael's humble little car.  He cut it out, filed it down, sanded it smooth, painted it, and even re-drilled the axle holes.  He did much of the work himself and I helped to make sure it was safe.  Even the spoiler was his idea.  We were extremely lucky and fortunate to win.

This page last updated Sun Feb 28 16:05:37 EST 1999