01/20/08 — Scouts race for Derby glory

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Scouts race for Derby glory

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 20, 2008 12:30 PM

Ten-year-old Cash Benton took out all of his homemade Pinewood Derby cars for another look Friday night while he got ready for the big race Saturday.

The Cub Scout has built a car each year for the past four years, and he keeps them in a special box in his room. This year's car, No. 34, was looking good and ready for action.

On Saturday, that special car was a contender in the double elmination race of Pack 581 as Wayne County's Cub Scouts raced their homemade cars in the Pinewood Derby at Berkeley Mall. The races will continue through next weekend, and a district competition is set for Feb. 9.

On Saturday, the tensions rose toward the end of each of the seven pack races, as 150 Cub Scouts watched their cars come down the track in double elimination contests of speed and balance. The cars came down two-by-two. If a car jumped the track, the Cub Scout got to try again.

And there were no losers, said Michelle Newsome, who conducted the races.

"There are only first- and second-place winners," she told the racers. "There are no losers. You're all winners."

She said 40 Cub Scouts raced Friday, and another 40 are expected to race next Friday. Next Saturday, she said she is expecting another 150 Cubs to race.

It's an intricate business building a Pinewood Derby car. It can't be any heavier than 5 ounces.

The competitors and their families lined up on both sides of the track in the empty storefront beside the Radio Shack Saturday morning. Checkered flags lined the race strip.

In the cheering section on the right were Amy Latour and her 3-year-old daughter, Jasmine, of Pinkney. Her 7-year-old son, Justin, was racing in Pack 581's heat.

Justin is a Wolf Cub. All of the Cub Scouts in Pack 581 meet every Tuesday at Salem United Methodist Church.

When you are a Cub, the emphasis is on doing projects with your family, Mrs. Latour said.

"This has been a good time for him and his dad," she said, pointing to Steven Latour, who was sitting at the end of the track, making sure none of the cars crashed.

The winner in the Pack 581 race was 9-year-old Jordan Basil Kornegay of Goldsboro.

But that was no surprise for his grandfather, Dr. Hervy Kornegay of Calypso. He saw it coming. Earlier in the race, he had made the forecast.

"He's going to win," the proud grandfather said.