OLYMPIA - It was Pinewood Derby race day Saturday at the Olympia Auto Mall as Cub Scouts and their families gathered for an annual tradition known as the Capital Grand Prix.
The racing tradition got its start at Capital mall in 1999, hence its name, then moved to the auto mall in 2002, organizer Mike Landowski said. On Saturday, the 2011 version of the race was held at the Titus-Will Hyundai dealership in a service garage.
Sixty-six racers entered Saturday’s competition, most of whom were Cub Scouts who competed in their scout classes, including Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos, the last level of Cub Scouting before scouts advance to Boy Scouts. Webelo stands for “We will be loyal scouts.”
Compared with cars in a soapbox derby, Pinewood Derby cars are much smaller and race on a shorter track.
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The vehicles must weigh no more than 5 ounces, be no longer than 7 inches and be no wider than 23/4 inches. There also are rules for the wheel base so that the car fits on the track, Landowski said.
Beginners and veterans alike attended Saturday’s races.
Dave Loree of Olympia and his two sons, Garrett and Jeff, both 10, entered the race for the first time, and they’ll have to improve the speed of their vehicles for future races, he said.
Brandon Rogers of Olympia, 11, placed fourth in one race, but “could’ve done better” if it hadn’t been for a little extra paint on the car’s axle, he said.
Kathy Lee of Lacey, whose son Mikael, 11, won grand-prize trophies in 2007 and 2008, came to check out the competition, she said. Her son is now a Boy Scout, she said.