There were no loud engines or screeching tires, but that didn’t make the races any less exciting. Or frustrating.

After all, this was a chance for young men from across Southeast Oklahoma to strut their stuff — as long as that stuff could be “strutted” with a block of wood, four nails, four plastic wheels and more than a little hard work and imagination.

It was the annual Oka-Tuli District meet for the District Pinewood Derby Championships.

Things were quieter this year, and seemed to run smoother, as parents and Cub Scouts from across the district joined at Frink-Chambers Elementary School for the races.

That could be because the races were better organized than many races in the past, with members of different ranks racing at different times and on different tracks. For instance, Tiger Cubs and Wolf Cubs both began racing at 10 a.m., but on different tracks, since two were set up, while Bear Cubs and Webelos began at 11:30.

At many races, all classes show up at one time, making the room fill with excited boys — and their shouts.

It might have been quieter, but the excitement and tension were still high, as evidenced on the faces of the young men concentrating to put their cars on the track. Several looked like they might bite through a tongue or lip. Others, like Casey House, squinted, positioned, squinted and repositioned until they were satisfied their cars were sitting just right.

Then they were off, with hardly a sound.

Twenty-nine racers from the 14 packs in the district competed Saturday. They came from McAlester, Eufaula, Kiowa, Haileyville, Wilburton, Spiro, Eufaula, Poteau “and all points between,” according to officials.

But win or lose, all agreed it was fun.

The Pinewood Derby is an event that began in October 1953 when a single Cub Scout pack in Manhattan Beach, Calif., held a race that pitted model wooden cars against each other. Since then, it’s estimated that more than 40 million scouts have teamed with parents and siblings to create what they hope will become the fastest cars in their pack and in their district.

The cars, which can weigh no more than five ounces for a Cub Scout race, are made from a single block of wood cut, sanded and painted to resemble some type of automobile.

Open class racers, those constructed by a scout’s parents, friends or siblings who are not scouts, can weigh as much as 10 ounces. The wheels on the cars come with a special Pinewood Derby kit.

Oka-Tuli Pinewood Derby

Winners of the Oki-Tuli Pinewood Derby:

Tigers — Lane Braswell, first; Colby Post, second; Dylan Stovall, third.

Wolves — Evan Smith, first; Samuel Denike, second; Bryce Taylor, third.

Bears — Daytona Trammell, first; Shane Murry, second; Brandon Willadsen, third.

Webelos — Lucas Perdieu, first; Jeremy Otis, second; Nicholas Santine, third.

Recommended for you