Maximize speed on your Pinewood Derby Car by addressing these five key areas:
Wheels - Properly prepare the Pinewood Derby wheels by polishing their contact surfaces, which minimizes friction. If not prohibited, reducing both lateral and radial runout (wobble) and reducing the wheels’ overall size and weight will minimize friction, drag, and rotational inertia leading to a fast start for the car.
Axles - Prepare the Pinewood Derby axles by polishing their contact surfaces, thus minimizing friction leading to a fast run for the car.
Weighting - Address both the amount AND location of the weight to maximize potential energy in the Pinewood Derby car. Proper weighting is key for a fast car.
Alignment - The location and position of the axles in the Pinewood Derby car body are key to minimizing friction and therefore maximizing speed.
Aerodynamics - Construct the Pinewood Derby car to minimize aerodynamic drag.
Articles in this series (click to read):