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The Derby Worx Story
By Bill Launius Jr.


I have always been fascinated by pinewood derby racing! From the time
my neighbor came home with his first kit, I could not wait until I was old
enough to join the Cub Scouts so I could build a car too. So when I
became a Cub Scout in the fall of 1975 my Dad and I went to the local
scout shop to pick up a kit and get an early start on the car; we just
couldn't wait for that race! That car was gold and black, and it was the
coolest car ever because my dad and I built it. As cool as it was it was
also fast, faster than everyone's that year. But little did I know in 1975
what would eventually happen.

As the years went by we were involved with many cars. Several were
mine, but others belonged to cousins, neighbors and friends that we
helped over the years. When my son, Trey, became a Cub Scout it was
even more exciting than ever. With the information age in full swing and
the Internet starting to contain pinewood derby information, we could see
there was a thirst for more racing information and supplies.

We had several items we had made over the years for building our cars.
They were our little secrets, but I could see one guy on-line, Randy
Davis of Maximum Velocity, was forging ahead in this new industry and I
wanted to share a little of what we were doing. After testing our items,
Randy said that they worked well and wanted to know if we would be
interested in marketing them. My first thought was, "Wow, this could be
a way to make a little racing money!" My second thought was, "We are
a marketing firm who works with manufacturing, so I do know a little
about sales." I told Randy that I was interested in his proposal. Once
again, I didn't realize what was about to happen.

Maximum Velocity launched the Derby Worx Pro Body Tool, Pro Hub
Tool and Pro Axle Press in October of 2002. We had no idea how they
would sell, but with Randy's hard work and great reputation, the tools
took off, and Derby Worx was born.


The Derby Worx Facility

In 2005, we moved into a new facility in Millstadt, Illinois to help support
Derby Worx's growth. We added a few more products, and with the
addition of an Okuma CNC(1) lathe we started the Derby Worx Pro RS
and SS wheel lines. In June and November of 2005 Derby Worx was
granted United Stated Patent numbers for the Pro Hub Tool and Pro
Body Tool. This was followed by a patent number for the Pro Wheel
Shaver in 2007, and two U.S. Trade marks in 2008. Currently Derby
Worx has six patents in different stages.


Okuma CNC Lathe at Derby Worx

In 2007 we partnered with Jay Wiles and Warp Speed Inc. to expand our
BSA wheel and axle line up. Jay's NASCAR background brings the
passion and precision to build the best, and both companies
complement each other quite well. The Warp Speed facility is equipped
with two Haas CNC's that exclusively turn out pinewood derby wheels
and axles. In 2007 DerbyWorx added an Okuma CNC mill for machining
additional items like the Pro Rail Rider Tool.


Haas CNC Lathe #1 at Warp Speed


Haas CNC Lathe #2 at Warp Speed


Okuma CNC Mill #2 at Derby Worx

In this current 2008-09 season, Derby Worx has brought several new
items to the pinewood derby market. We now have thirty-four different
pinewood derby specific products. The six new products this season are
the Pro Rail Rider Tool, the Pro Body Jig, Pro Awana Lite wheels, Pro
Pine Car Lite wheels, Pro RS-X wheels, and Pro SS-X wheels. We are
also very excited in having gained the endorsement of the Boy Scouts of
America. Derby Worx supplies the Pro Hub Tool, Pro Wheel Mandrel,
Pro Axle Press and Pro Axle Guide to the BSA. But the real success of
Derby Worx is driven by our customers, who have accepted our products
from the very beginning and have been very helpful with everything from
tool applications and improvements to new ideas. Thanks!

Bill Launius Jr.
President, Derby Worx, Inc.


Derby Worx is a leading innovator, manufacturer and distributor of
pinewood derby supplies. They are located in Millstadt, Illinois

(1) CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. Basically this indicates
that the machine is computer driven.

Read More at: Pinewood Derby Times Volume 8, Issue 9

A feature article is a regular part of the Pinewood Derby Times Newsletter. To subscribe to this free e-newsletter, please visit:
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