02 03 Pinewood Derby Stories and Photos from Maximum Velocity 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33


From Tim Hellaby - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
Is a car running on one wheel faster then a car using all four?

This photo wasn't staged - I just happened to get a chance shot. I was
taking a photos of my sons car (the blue one leading in lane four) when
the car in lane three just happened to jump up as it neared the finish

From Alan Williamson, regarding the article, "A Winning Philosophy" in
Volume 8, Issue 1 - October 1, 2008:
I have basically eliminated the win at all cost theory from our pinewood
derby. The first thing I recommend is that you have a derby workshop,
and tell all the parents about the tricks -- the ins and the outs. Talk to
the youth about winning and fair play. Create an atmosphere where the
parents and the children are involved in creating the car. Even the worst
defeat is a win.

One parent came up to me and said, "Well, looks like your boy's car
suffered in this race." I asked why he said that. He replied, "He only
came in third overall." I chuckled and told him something that I think
really stung him, "Well this year I let him decide on how to do it; I only
cut it out. He painted it, and then took what I had taught him the year
before to finish it out. He thought he did his best, and that was fine with
me. Furthermore it allowed me to have a hand in every car out there.
How could I have lost?" I asked him if he saw any boy with tears in their
eyes? He replied, "No." I then replied, "But I heard a lot of them saying
they would win next year."

The next year, this parent was the first in line to help chair the derby and
even bought a portable band saw to help with the cars.

It is amazing to me how my first pinewood derby race shaped my
thoughts of winning and losing. Yes, seeing that car stop halfway down
the track and losing hurt. But it made me more and more determined
each time I have built a car. The determination for me now is to make
sure each boy has a positive experience no matter if they win or lose.

From the Editor: In my experience also, the attitude conveyed by the
race officials has a significant impact on the attitude of the participants.

Read More at: Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 2

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