Rock Candy 500 returns | Rock Candy

Rock Candy 500 returns



Last year's crop. Photo by Patrick Jones.

Start a-whittlin'. On Thursday, May 6, the second annual Rock Candy 500 pinewood derby returns to the River Market Pavilion. Like last year (see video and photos here), we'll have a 40-foot track, beer and race-themed music. Unlike last year, we'll have non-beer drinks and we're requiring advance registration (only so making the bracket won't be such a hassle).

Registration date is April 28, slightly more than one week before the race (I'll post registration details directly). So all you slackers can slack. Meanwhile, we who've been itching to use the new Dremel we got for Christmas will be creating masterpieces.

See the rules below. Like last year, our resident pinewood derby expert David Koon has allowed for more weight than usual (speed!). The only new rule this year is that after weigh in you can't tinker.

All ages will be welcome. The rules

1) All cars must be made primarily of wood.

2) All cars must have four wheels.

3) All wheels must touch the ground when the car is sitting upright on a flat surface

4) All cars must use the plastic wheels and metal axles provided in a standard pinewood derby racer kit.

5) The wheels and axles may not be modified (that's physically modified... do anything you want to them cosmetically).

6) Maximum size of each car, including wheels, may not exceed 7 inches in length and 3 inches in width

7) The minimum distance allowed between the inside lip of the left and right wheels is 1-3/4 inches.

8) When sitting on a flat surface, minimum ground clearance under the car must be no less that 3/8 inch.

9) Each car's weight shall not exceed 7 ounces. Metal may be added to reach the maximum weight if desired.

10) Each car must be propelled along the track by gravity alone (no engines, air cylinders, rubber band launchers, etc)

11) Each car shall not have any type of suspension, including springs, shocks, etc.

12) With regard to the wheels and axles: wheel bearings, washers, bushings and other mechanical friction-reducing devices are prohibited.

13) NEW THIS YEAR: Each car will be weighed at the event. Racers that weigh in under the limit will not be able to add weight. Racers with cars that exceed the weight limit will have an opportunity to remove weight, but once they weigh in below the weight limit, they will not get their cars back.

Note: First, second and third prizes will be offered in each of three categories: 1) Speed  2) Paint and 3) Design. An additional prizes will be offered for Best Kid's Entry (under 14) and Best of Show. Though employees of the Arkansas Times may enter, they are not eligible to win prizes in any category except Speed. Car kits and accessories may be purchased at or area hobby shops.

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