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Your Time: Pinewood Derby, Sunderland

  • Spectators look on  <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  •  Michael Zeoli, left, Perry Burdick. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Spectators cheer<br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Hunter Russell,  left, Theo Sargent  <br/><br/>
  • Justin Blodgett, left, James Ayotte<br/><br/>
  • Sam Thiel
  •  John Sackrey, left, Oliver Sackrey<br/><br/>
  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO<br/>Evan McEuen of Sunderland Cub Scout Pack 8 watches a race at a Pinewood Derby at Sunderland Elementary School last year.
  • Evan McEuen<br/><br/>
  • Trophies await <br/><br/>
  • Watching the action <br/><br/>
  •  John Sackrey <br/><br/>
  • Tommy Thiel <br/><br/>
  • On their mark <br/>
  • Justin Blodgett,  left, Tommy Thiel
  • Cheering them on   <br/><br/>
  • Ready to go  <br/><br/>

The cafeteria inside Sunderland Elementary School was decked out in black-and-white checkered racing flags and filled with spectators and competitors last Saturday, as the second annual Pinewood Derby sponsored by Sunderland Cub Scout Pack 8 got under way.

The scene was similar to a NASCAR event, but on a smaller scale. About 60 children participated, along with their pinewood cars. According to the rules, the cars were required to weigh 5 ounces and could not measure more than 7 inches long and 2¾ inches wide.

“I attend a lot of NASCAR events and I try to run it as such so that it’s enjoyable for the whole family,” said David Dion, the pack cubmaster.

The derby had a victory lane and an official pit area; the cars were raced down an old, wooden two-lane track.

Boys from the Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos 1 dens had about a month to build the cars with their parents, according to Michael Zeoli, a den leader. “The project introduces them to tools ... but they still get the fun of creating something that means something to them,” he said. “It’s great to see the time spent working out problems as fathers and sons.”

The science department at the Charles H. McCann Technical School in North Adams developed a custom-made program to help track the speed of the cars and determine the winners. First-, second- and third-place trophies were awarded to competitors from each den. Each competitor also received a participation certificate and a patch commemorating Pinewood Derby 2013.

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