Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Keith McCord ReportingIf you've ever been involved with the Boy Scouts, chances are you built and raced a Pinewood Derby car. They've been around since the early '50s. And while many kids outgrow the hobby, we found a couple of guys who didn't and who are national champion racers!
It takes less than three seconds! If you blink, you'll miss these Pinewood Derby cars racing down a 37-foot track.
Glenn Jewkes and his brother David have loved racing the cars since they were kids.
"Just the speed, trying to find the fastest car. Any time you have something with four wheels on it, you want to see how fast you can make it go," Glenn said.
Glenn and David now race competitively, but the design parameters of the Pinewood Derby cars remain the same as when they were Scouts: maximum weight of 5 ounces; maximum length of 7 inches.
They design and build their own cars in a shop in the garage, and over the years, using the principals of physics, math, engineering, and a little trial and error, they've built some very fast cars. David says that, to scale, the speed they reach is about 250 miles per hour.
Last weekend in Ohio, they really showed their stuff by winning in a national Pinewood Derby competition. Thirty of the top builders in the country entered 158 different cars. Glenn and David won 13 trophies in the five categories that they entered.
"I expected to do well, but I didn't expect to win the whole show!" David said.
Glenn and David run a Pinewood Derby competitive racing league here in Utah. Each month racers compete on the track in Glenn's basement. Some racers even send their cars from other states to compete.
Sport or hobby? The Jewkes brothers say it's a little of both that they'd like to see grow, and they're happy to spread the word.
Glenn says, "Anybody can go down there and grab a kit and see if they can do some physics. Have some fun with it, create a little hobby. It's inexpensive to do."
Glenn and David Jewkes have a Web site with all sorts of information about Pinewood Derby cars.