KANSAS CITY, KAN.—If you blink, you'll miss it. The Pinewood Derby combines tiny cars that go wickedly fast. This derby is for Boy Scouts who want to test their car-making skills. The two most important factors are speed and looks.
"This year it wasn't just a big block of wood," says Kenneth Nelson.
Nelson tried a new technique after getting third place last year.
"We shaved it down and we made it into a different shape so it'd be more aerodynamic," he explains.
It's Alex Smith's first year. His car mirrors one from a TV show. He hopes to one day bring it to life for a real race.
The race teaches the scouts about working toward a goal and working with their parents.
"He learns the process of making and building something for a race and trying to improve every year," says one organizer, Mike Hochstedler.
Nelson credits his mom for the help. Smith worked with his dad.
"He let me paint, he drilled into the car, he um, he let me use the saw," he explains.
What he ends up with is a lasting souvenir, maybe a trophy, and a childhood memory that will stick around much longer than the thrill of this race.
The money raised by the Pinewood Derby goes toward sending kids to summer camp. This year about $10,000 is expected to be raised. In the 12 years it's gone on, the Derby has raised more than $230,000.