Pinewood Derby Champs 2013

Derby winner Matthew Leclef, left, and second-place finisher Luke Vance

Cub Scout Pack 79, based at Crozet United Methodist Church, held its annual Pinewood Derby Jan. 26 with 59 cars entered, a record number for the event.

The scouts design and build wooden cars to race down a four-track, inclined aluminum speedway and their times are clocked by a computer. Each car runs once on each track and the slowest time is dropped.

This year’s winner was Matthew Leclef, whose car “Pink Panther” hit the day’s top average speed, 180 miles per hour.

In second was Luke Vance at 179.6 mph, and Simrat Sani’s number 23 car came in third at 177.7 mph.

Awards for creativity went to Tyler Tinder and Brandon Thomas. Awards for “Hands-on” (meaning the scout did all the work on his car himself) went to Evan Gentry and Joshua Sime.  Awards for Scout Spirit went to Matthew Shinstock and Turner Smith. Speed Awards by den went to Michael Gaelic of Tiger Den at 173.8 mph; to Evan Collier of Wolf Den at 173.8 mph; to Charles Collier of Bear Den at 175.6 mph; to Joseph Taylor of Webelos I at 176.5 and to Alex Johnson of Webelos II at 175.2 mph.

Judges for the design awards were Ann Mallek, Ken Thacker, Vic Pena, Mike Carmagnola and Brian Lassiter. For the first time in race history, a ‘pit crew’ of parents ferried the cars from the finish line back to the starting ramp to prevent cars from being dropped and knocked out of the race by damage.

The pack leaders for Pack 79 are David Vance and Chris Scott, both of whom are Eagle Scouts.