500 cars revving their engines for virtual Pinewood Derby

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ByJoe Mazur via WTVD logo
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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A track normally reserved for NASCAR is making way for race cars carved out of wood.

FORT WORTH, Texas (WTVD) -- A track normally reserved for NASCAR is making way for race cars carved out of wood.

This weekend, homemade cars from all over the country will be raced at Texas Motor Speedway in the first Pinewood Derby 500--a virtual event planned by the Boy Scots of America.

"And we are sourcing all kinds of cool tracks that we are involving in lots of different heats so that we can summarize a really, really big open race that we're going to be hosting at Texas Motor Speedway," said Gina Circelli, Boy Scouts digital editor.

A Scouts Facebook live feed will show all 500 cars racing toward the championship, but for those who aren't racing, there are other ways to get involved.

"You can take pictures and video of your car and post them on social media using #Pinewood500 to get in on the design competition because with Pinewood Derby, there is building fast cars and then there is building really cool-looking cars," Circelli said. "So we've got both elements coming into play. One involves sending your car in, one involves just snapping a picture."

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The Pinewood Derby is typically reserved for Cub Scouts only, but this year's event is open to everybody--even adults.

"You see adults go, 'oh, I won Pinewood Derby back in the day,' or 'I lost,' or for a lot of women you hear, 'I saw my brother race,'" Circelli said. "Well, this time everybody can race, and I think everyone is super pumped about that."

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With many troops unable to gather in person, the virtual derby will allow the scouts to connect in a virtual space.

"We've had a lot of socially distanced in-person events happening around the country," Circelli said. "Most of those have been service events in a lot of communities, and some units are finding ways to meet, absolutely. And of course we're hosting tons of virtual events just like on the local level: packs, dens, troops. They're all hosting virtual meetings as well."

The event starts at 11 a.m. on Sept 12 and runs for three hours with other activities planned, including a yo-yo class.