Pinewood Derby Tracks

Building a Pinewood Derby Track

Below is information and some free pinewood derby track plans you can download.

If you are handy with wood, you can build your own Pinewood Derby track. pinewood derby track picture

Here are a few things you need to think about before you begin and a few notes about pinewood derby racing. Below we give you links to full track plans and track vendors:

  • What size track do you need? Most tracks have between two and six lanes. Two lanes are enough if you have less than 20 cars racing, but you should consider more lanes if you will be racing more than 20 cars. Three lanes are fine for up to 30 racers, and four lanes should be used for groups above 30. Electronic timers are worth the cost for three and four lane tracks, as sometimes races can be too close to decide a winner by eye.
  • The most common building material for a derby track is pinewood. Pinewood is lightweight and durable enough to make a decent pinewood derby track. How long do you want your track?Typical wood tracks are 32 feet plus a landing zone. Some tracks extend to 40 feet to make the race longer and more exciting, but you must consider that some cars may have difficulty reaching the finish line with longer tracks.
  • The starting gate of the track should be four feet high.
  • The slope of the track should start at 30 degrees at the starting gate, changing gradually to 0 degrees by about 12 feet from the start. The rest of the track should be flat.
  • The finish line should be at ground level, but consider raising the entire track to provide better visibility.
  • When you design your track, think about transportation. You will want to separate the track into smaller pieces, typically 8' sections, to ease the transportation process.
  • Regardless of how well you build your track, each lane will perform slightly different, giving the car in a lane a slight advantage or disadvantage over the cars in the other lanes. Be sure that each car has the opportunity to race in all of the lanes.
  • If possible, set your track up several hours before the event and encourage your racers to bring their cars in to practice using the track. This will give the chance to fine tune their cars.
pinewood derby grand prix track image


This is a 25 page downloadable pinewood derby track plan for a wooden track. It uses door hinges for easy assembly and disassembly. This is a complete plan with pictures, assembly diagrams and parts list.

This is a concise single page downloadable pinewood derby track plan for a wooden track. It is clear and concise, for you minimalists, but it is a complete track plan with starting gate. It includes assembly, diagrams and parts list. .

If you would prefer to buy an aluminum track, Best Track make a great track, but note that this track has a sharp curve at the inflection point which has been known to make cars jump lanes. Wooden tracks have smoother transitions from the starting gate to the flat part of the track.

We highly recommend adding an electronic timer to your track. It saves time and eliminates discussions about which car came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Here are some track timer suppliers:







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    • Pinewood Derby
      Tips & Hints

      Tungsten weights are ideal for pinewood derby cars. Tungsten is about 1/3 smaller than a zinc piece with the same weight. Therefore, you can pack Tungsten weights in a smaller area to optimize your center of gravity to maximize inertia giving you greater speed at the finish gate.








      Pinewood Derby
      lubes Tip

      When adding Nyoil to your axles, "less is more"! Only use one or two drops per axle and wipe off any excess oil. The oil should not be run down your axle.



      Pinewood Derby
      painting Hint

      When painting with children, it is better to use a paint brush rather than spray paint because spray paint can cause vapors. If the child is spray painting, be sure to use a breathing mask and be in an open area.



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      ...for over 15 years.

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    • This is my son's first Derby car as a Tiger Cub Scout. We had a lot of fun working on this together. Even though he didn't place it was a rewarding experience. Next year we plan to build something even more unique and perhaps a little more challenging. Thanks for a great web site!
      - Shawn from CA



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Pinewood Derby Tracks