American Ethanol Spring 2017 - Page 17

6 Tips for the Fastest Pinewood Derby Car There’s nothing like a childhood dream to fuel imaginations. When racing enthusiasts watch No. 3 Austin Dillon fly around the NASCAR track, it’s exhilarating and inspiring. The Pinewood Derby gives Scouts an opportunity to have their own No. 3 Austin Dillon car, and we give you tips on ensuring it gets in the winner’s circle. When the pinewood derby’s creator, Don Murphy, hosted the first race in 1953 with Cub Scouts in California, he envisioned a wholesome, constructive activity that would foster closer fami ly ties and promote craftsmanship and good sportsmanship through competition. It’s a proud tradition that lives on today. While your pinewood derby car doesn’t get a boost of power from E15, like Austin Dillion’s racecar does with Sunoco Green E15, these six tips from Boys’ Life magazine will help max- imize the performance of your creation and enable you to become a pinewood pro: 1. Make the maximum weight. Your car should weigh as much as allowed. 2. Place most of the weight in the back. Leave enough wood in the rear of the pinewood derby car, so you can place additional weight there. 3. Avoid designs with a pointed nose. A pointed nose will make it difficult for your pinewood derby car to rest on the pin at the starting gate. It may also cause your car to get bumped around when the pin drops. 4. Think of air movement. Pinewood derby cars with aerodynamic profiles go faster. Choose a design that allows the air to move easily over and around your car’s body. 5. Extend the wheelbase. The front and rear wheels should be as far apart as possible. Make sure this is allowed in your race. 6. Sand and paint. Make the wood smooth to reduce friction, and paint an awesome No. 3 Austin Dillion design to make it look great. Finally, remember the No. 1 rule of a pine- wood derby: have fun, and enjoy the ride! Leo Olson raced his #3 Austin Dillon car at the Pinewood Derby in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. SPRING 2017 17