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Pack 27 sees large field in Saturday race
February 8, 2018

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On Saturday a local race track had standing room only as car builders and racers prepared to compete in an afternoon of four-lane racing. It all took place at Boardman Methodist Church where father-son teams designed and built Pinewood Derby cars to race at the annual event.

"We had a total of 46 cars entered," said Pack 27 spokesman Mike Ianazone. "It's a team project between father or (parent) and son but the boys are the ones that actually enter the car."

Ianazone said a lot of the young scouts only have six weeks to pull together a car. In mid-Decmber the troop distributes blank cars to the cub scouts, who then work with their fathers to build their race entry. Some scouts purchase their own kits and start even earlier and others may try to improve on a prior year's entry.

Ianazone said the night before the big race, there is a weigh-in with all the boys entered in the race bring their cars in. The total weight of the car cannot exceed five ounces. Any car that is overweight can take their car to a work station where some of the weights can be removed to get it to legal weight.

On race day, families show up at the church and take seats on either side of the race track. The track is a long metal one that functions through a computer. The track was purchased last year by Pack 27, alng with some help from local businesses.

"It's all electronic timers gives us times to one hundredth of a second," Ianazone said. "Over the past two years we have had some close calls but have not yet had any ties."

Racing kicks off with a random draw of the computer. After that, each boy will race eight times. Those eight times are averaged out and the final numbers determine the winners.

There is no achievement badge that is earned from this event, but there is a bigger lesson learned. It is designed for the boys to get the opportunity to work with a parent or father figure. It not just the building of the car, but wanting the kids to think outside the box and maybe take a scientific approach like aero dynamics or friction.

"It's something that they might get interested in and maybe help shape their future," Ianazone said. "It's also a good lesson in sportsmanship."

He said as of right now the event remains a Cub Scout Pack 27-only race. That may change in the future though.

"As of now we do not have anything set up for them to race against any other packs." He said, " but we have been in talks with other Scout Packs to maybe put something together and hold a bigger event."

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