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Henesy wins Scout derby race

February 24, 2001

Henesy wins Scout derby race


MAUGANSVILLE - Cub Scout Isaiah Reeder flashed a snaggletoothed smile when his sleek green race car rolled across the finish line Saturday at the countywide Pinewood Derby.

"That was fun," said Isaiah, 7, of Pack 58 in Downsville. "I think I did good."

The youngster joined 88 other Scouts and hundreds of spectators at the Maugansville Ruritan Building for the decades-old annual event. The Washington County District of the Mason-Dixon Council holds the countywide derby for the top five finishers in each pack's individual race.

The competition, hosted by Maugansville Pack 64, featured 89 homemade wooden cars - each about 6 inches long - racing three at a time down a grooved, inclined 32-foot-long track. Each racer had three turns on the track.

A computer system timed the races, and the racer with the fastest combined time won.

Scout Matthew Henesy took first place in Saturday's event with a combined time of 7.254 seconds, followed by Ryan Harden at 7.267 seconds and Zack Shank at 7.274 seconds.


The competition, which kicked off with a moment of silence for NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, who died in a crash at the Daytona 500 last Sunday, was the ultimate test of the Scouts' strategy and car design skills.

The boys started with rectangular blocks of wood, four nails for axles and four plastic wheels. Aided by adults, the Scouts crafted swift racers from these basic materials.

The cars were weighed prior to the race to ensure each was no more than 5 ounces.

After registering and weighing in at the Derby, each Scout relinquished his racer to the off-limits "impound lot" to await race time.

The lot was filled with bullet-shaped cars and triangular wedges with wheels. Some racers resembled skinny skateboards. There were cars in hues from black to silver covered with stickers and stars and stripes and numbers.

Almost every racer held weights made from coins or other metal to hasten gravity's pull.

With the help of his dad, K.C. Nedimyer, 9, of Pack 103 in Hagerstown, melted fishing sinkers to give his wedge-shaped "Black Ice" racer more weight.

Craig Sharon, 9, of Pack 64, said building his "Smiley Facemobile" was fun, but racing it was even better.

"You get to see whose car is the best," Craig said.

Randy Cumblidge, 8, of Pack 26 in Hagerstown, said he hoped his purple "Black Widow" racer would earn him one of the 10 trophies on the prize table.

"I like to win," said Randy.

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