Pinewood Derby Memory – The Race

Our pinewood derby experience leading up to our race was included in your newsletter in 2005 (Volume 4, Issue 11 – February 23, 2005). Our race was delayed and we learned the lesson of patience. Here is a follow up as to what happened after the snow storm.
Last year my son was in his final year of Cub Scouts. Our pack was planning the annual pinewood derby. The race had to be rescheduled due to a big snow storm that hit our area. We were very disappointed. To make the time go faster our family decided to use the extra time to build more cars (each one of us could have our own car in the race). So using our own designs, we drew different styles until we each found our favorite. Dad’s car was black; he named it the Night Rider. My car was red with a golden glitter finish. My son’s car was purple – it was very metallic.
The race was very crowded and most of our scouting families attended. The room was filled with energy, all the scouts as well as their families were ready to go. The extra cars were registered in an after-race that families could enter – the main race was for scouts only.
Heat after heat the cars ran smooth. Suddenly there was a commotion at the back of the room. One of the attendants had accidentally knocked a car off the holding table. We all held our breath to find out whose it was.
Over the loud speaker our number was called; it was my son’s car. The rear right wheel was totally off. Tears filled his eyes. After the weeks of hard work, the waiting, and the anticipation he was crushed. Now what would he do? The judges allowed him to fix the car. Normal rules were no contact with the car until after the race, but since the accident was not his fault, they bent the rules. He had five minutes to repair it. We had come prepared, our emergency supplies ready. My son and I did our best.
Finally it was the purple car’s turn; first down the track. Heat after heat, car after car the purple car flew down the track. It did not seem to matter what lane or whose car it went up against, the outcome was the same. The purple car was taking the lead. By the end of the race the purple car was the leader, delayed, broken, but bound to win. Some things happen for a reason. The trophy was his!
Now the after-race, the families got to join the fun. My car was last every heat, but wait, dad’s car was winning! My son’s car was entered again and still holding together. Random pairing joined them together. Father against son. Man against boy. The black car against the purple. The scout wins! Cheers filled the room. Again and again the cars flew down the bright yellow track. Again and again the cars challenged each other. Time after time the son and father went neck and neck, nose to nose. First and second was the call.
At the end of the race the final tally was purple car 1st Place, Black Night Rider a close second. Two trophies came home that day; Two proud racers, each with their own design. Each with their own happy memories. I was proud too, remember I held the glue bottle!
If a lesson was learned it was never give up. Try, try again, and never – I mean never! – leave home without the glue.
Brenda Puntel
Austintown, Ohio
From Pinewood Derby Times Volume 5, Issue 12
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