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Annual Pinewood Derby Races across the ages


February 25, 2019

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Reid Holmes, 8, points out his car Saturday to his brother, Zack Holmes, 5, prior to the beginning of the Pinewood Derby in Havre's Holiday Village Mall.

The Cubs Scouts Pinewood Derby Competition Saturday was not only for the Scouts but for parents and other family members who wanted to participate.

Many of the Scouts at the event talked about their excitement for the races and expressed the fun experiences they had with their dad while making their cars.

More than 40 homemade Pinewood Derby cars competed Saturday at the Holiday Village Mall for the Cub Scouts annual race.

Prior to the race, Scouts are given kits for the cars made up of a block of pine wood, nail axles and plastic wheels. The cars are customizable to an extent, such as paint and design, although the cars have to meet specific regulations in order to race, such as the weight and length of their cars. Scouts are also able to ask parents for help on their cars.

Tiger Scout John Hummert, 6, was racing his Bacon car in the competition this year. He added that this was his second year competing and he felt good about his vehicle. Last year his wheels kept falling off, he said, adding that hopefully this year that wouldn't be the case.

"This year I'm back, I'm totally just back for it," he said.

Hummert said he had help from his dad, Jeff Hummert, and he had fun painting and working on the car.

Cubmaster Gallagher Cumings said this was his first year as the cubmaster and he was very excited for the derby. He said the event is a fun, competitive environment for the kids, and this year had a few races and cars open for people who weren't scouts, letting the parents be more involved.

He said he also had a kid in scouts, Tiger Scout Alec Cumings, 6, who was racing a Guitar Car this year.

Gallagher Cumings said he grew up doing the Pinewood Derby with the Christian youth group Awana and was excited about doing the event with the Scouts. He added that he got involved racing his own car, a Black Lightning Bolt Car, in the open race.

The track was put together by returning Pinewood Derby Specialist, Keith Kallstrom from Great Falls. He said this was his fifth year doing the event. He said all of his kids were in Scouts and he wanted to get more involved. He added that his kids occasionally travel with him to help organize the events.

"I enjoy it. I really enjoy it," he said.

He said putting on a good show for parents and kids was his way to contribute back to the community.

First-year Scout and competitor Skott Williams was at the event with both of his parents, Russell Jr. and Danielle Williams. He said he and his dad made a Lego Flash car, adding that he liked the D.C. comic character Flash because he goes fast.

He said he likes Cub Scouts because he gets to play games and hang out with his friends.

Wolf Scouts Ashton Kokkeler, 8, and Eli Solomon, 8, said they were very excited for the races. They both said that they had fun building their cars with their dads. Solomon adding that he was happy his car was getting first occasionally

Shawn Solomon, Eli Solomon's father, said this was both of his sons' first year in Scouts. His other son is Lion Scout Ben Solomon, 6. He added that it was a fun experience for both of them and he looked forward to doing it in the future. He said he helped cut his son's and other kids' cars because the kids were not old enough to work the power tools. He had them sand and paint the cars themselves. He said he wanted to get his kid involved and active in something other than sports, and Scouts was a great way for his kids to have fun.

"It was a good idea," Solomon said.


Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Cars are released at the top of the track at the very beginning of a pinewood derby race Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Holiday Village Mall in Havre, Mont. The fastest cars made it down the track in less than four seconds.

The winners of Saturday's Pinewood Derby are:

• Grand winner: Calvin Frye, first; Tristen Woods, second; Noah Siemens, third.

• Best in show: Noah Siemens, first; Alec Cummings, second, and Russel Petty, third.

• Lion Den: Tristen Woods, first; Ben Solomon, second; Derek Barthol, third.

• Tiger Den: Calvin Frye, first; Skott Williams, second; John Hummert, third.

• Wolves Den: Eli Solomon, first; Ashton Kokkeler, second; Ernie Goettlich, third.

• Bears Den: Orrin Greenwood, first; Travis Huseby, second; John Iverson, third.

• Webelos Den: Noah Siemens, first; Wayne Durbin, second; Jakobie Carrol, third.

• Girls class: Rosalie Barthol, first; Emily Horsley, second; Chloe Hodges, third.

• Open class: Matt Frye, first; Keegan Siemens, second; Misce Lanier, third.


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