Photo by Patrick Jones.
It's mere weeks a way: On Thursday, May 6, the second annual Rock Candy 500
pinewood derby returns to the River Market Pavilion. Like last year, 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 29, slightly more than one week before the race. You can find a registration form this week (on page 30) and every week until the event in the paper, or you can print one out here
. Or if mailing or dropping the form and your money by the office is a huge hassle, you can call me at 375-2985 and give me your credit card number.
This year's proceeds benefit the Centers for Youth and Families Boy Scout Troop 726
, a troop of highly at-risk boys who, according to the Center for Youth and Families Dawn Prasifka, have "one foot in the gang and the other in Boy Scouts." Every week, CYF picks up the 10 to 16-year-olds and takes them to a center, where they get help with a homework, dinner and have Boy Scouts meetings.
CYF is the state's oldest continuously running nonprofit. It services 8,000 children and families with a continuum of care that includes intervention, prevention and treatment, according to Prasifka.ALSO
: You can get pinewood car kits, which come with a block of wood, wheels and axles, at just about any hobby store in town. Or you can order all kinds of pre-cut car shapes and slick add-ons -- decals, fenders, speedier axels -- from Pine Pro online
. If you mention the Rock Candy 500, they'll give you free shipping.
Get the rules for the derby below.
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 www.pinecar.com or area hobby shops.