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Competition Among Friends

My son Trey is a Tiger Cub so the Pinewood derby is new to him. It is also
a lot more competitive than when I was a scout. Along with helping Trey
build his first car, I was roped into helping two of my friends with three
cars for their sons (Chris, his brother Will, and Tyler). I really worked at
making this a learning experience for the boys. They polished wheels and
axles, and cut out the car shapes with help from the dads. The boys also
sanded as if the world championship was at stake.

All the boys talked about was how they all were going to go to the district
championship (the older boys explained the district race to Trey, so he
decided he would be going also). For the older boys this was going to be
their big year because they were tired of losing to the same three district
qualifiers each year. Fortunately, Tyler raced in a different pack. He in
fact won his pack race and went to the districts.

My problem started when the other three (including my son) all won their den
races and were ready to duke it out in the final for the three district
qualifier spots. The first three rounds they all advanced easily. But in
the fourth round Trey had to race against Chris. Chris won the first heat
by a few thousandths of a second. Then Trey won the second race by a few
thousandths (both moms wanted to quit right there so that everyone would
still play together). Well, Chris won the third heat and advanced. Trey
raced his way back through the loser's bracket only to face Chris again for
3rd place. The three races were identical to the first, with Chris picking
up the last spot for districts and Trey placing 4th overall.

To make matters even worse, Will took 1st place and Tyler took 2nd place so
all three of the other boys went to the district championship. Trey was a
very good sport in the whole situation, but he reminds me often: "Dad.
Chris, Will, and Tyler have to build their cars by themselves next year.

Bill Launius
Millstadt, IL

From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 1, Issue 13

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