Pinewood Derby, Outlaw Race return to Cassville

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Excited Cub Scouts and onlookers watch as their cars cross the finish line in last year's Pinewood Derby races. The annual Scouting event has been touted as one of the most enjoyable and memorable of the entire year by scouts and parents. This year, Pack 76 Scout leaders are putting out an invitation for anyone in the public with a love of speed, whether a member of the Scouts or not, to get in on the action by building their own car to compete in the Outlaw Race, which takes place after the main race event and in which weight limit rules are thrown out the window, making cars go even faster. Julia Kilmer/

Scout leaders invite public, racing enthusiasts to compete in race

The local Cub Scouts of Pack 76 will be holding their annual Pinewood Derby tournament races on Jan. 21 in Cassville.

The traditional races have been enjoyed by boys and parents for decades, and involves a simple activity of building and designing a race car out of an ordinary block of pinewood. The annual event, which races the hand-made cars on a three-inch-wide wooden track in a friendly, but fierce, competition, has been touted as one of the most enjoyable and memorable of the entire year, by Scouts and parents alike.

Using precision and focus, Boy Scout Oliver Tasset, left, prepares to let two derby cars take off during the Pinewood Derby event last year, an annual and traditional favorite of both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Julia Kilmer/

"You get caught up in the race and are cheering and it's just so much fun; everybody becomes 10 again," said Lois Deener, Pack 76 treasurer. "I love watching the faces of the kids, and the parents and how involved they get."

In fact, it's so much fun that, this year, Scout leaders are inviting parents and the general public to get in on the action and fun, too, by making their own car and competing in the race-after-the-race -- the Outlaw Race.

So, for any big kid who loves speed, the thrill of racing, and who has always longed to hear the words, 'Gentlemen, start your engines,' whether they are a Scout parent or not, the Outlaw competition is calling.

"If you can build the car, you can race it," Deener said. "It's open to boys, women, men, and there's no age limit. We want to get the word out about this race and invite the public to join in on the fun."

Unlike the Derby race, rules are essentially thrown out the window and just about anything goes. For example, in the Derby race, Scouts have a weight limit of 5 ounces on cars. So, boys add as much weight as they can to the car with supplemental weight sources to get as close to that target without going over, because the heavier the car, the faster it will go. But in the Outlaw Race, there is no weight limit -- hence the name, outlaw.

"The only rules for the Outlaw Race is the car must be gravity-powered and fit on a three- inch-wide track," said Brandon Lakey, assistant cub master. "Weight is even thrown out."

"Outlaw racers have used a variety of items to add weight to cars, including bolts and even spare change," Deener said.

Building and designing the car is simple and a great family activity, too, Deener said.

"It's a really easy wood to saw," Deener said. "The instructions come with the kit. It's a fun activity for everybody, and if people just want to come out and watch the kids race, that will be fun, too."

Trophies for first, second and third place will be awarded to Scout winners of the Derby race, and a trophy will be awarded to the first place winner of the Outlaw Race.

The cost for the car kit is only $5, and entry fee is $10 (for anyone who is not a Scout in Pack 76, including relatives of Scout and general public) payable at time of registration, and $5 for Scouts who are currently enrolled members of the Pack.

The event serves as a fundraiser for Scouts as a portion of the registration fees goes back into the local scouting group to support its annual activities.

Registration for the Derby race opens at 3:15 p.m., with the race beginning between 3:30-4 p.m. Scouts will race cars against their respective dens in the pack, with final first-, second- and third-place winners prevailing, followed by an awards ceremony.

Registration for the Outlaw Race will then commence beginning at 6 p.m., with the race starting at 6:30 p.m.

The event will be held at the American Legion on Highway 112 in Cassville.

During the entire event, concessions will be available, including pulled pork sandwiches, Frito pies, hot dogs, nachos and drinks.

"I think it will be fun for parents to get out and see what the Scouts do," Deener said. "I believe they will really enjoy it. One of our den leaders bought cars for all the fathers so they could race."

To purchase a car kit or for any questions, people may call Lakey at 417-846-6445, Den Leader Mike Driskill at 417-671-1438, or Pack 76 Cub Master Dawn Annecharico at 417-642-1948.

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