By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The Royal Ambassadors at East Gadsden Baptist Church got involved in Pinewood Derby racing a few years ago, and the activity proved so popular with the young people at church, Paula Gregory said, that the church bought it’s own track for racing.
The church invited other churches to participate and had its first race last year. The next one is slated for March 1 at East Gadsden Baptist, before racers will head to Prattville for the Associational Pinewood Derby Race.
In addition to racers from East Gadsden Baptist, RAs from First Baptist Glencoe, Cross Creek and Fairview Baptist churches are expected to participate in the March 1 race. The race is open to boys and girls as well as adults are invited to participate. There will be an association race for boys interested in going on to Prattville. Anyone else interested in participating can contact the church office at 256-543-7300 or Paula at 256-390-6099 for more information and to buy car kits for $5. People can also go online to royalracers.com to order kits. It takes some time to get a car in racing shape, so those interested in being involved on March 1 shouldn’t hesitate.
“We have a ball with it,” Paula said. The church gets kits for their kids (and for a number of the young-at-heart who participate).
Some choose to carve their cars from a block of wood, but most will get a wooden form that they have to weight, paint and sand.
“A kid probably couldn’t do this by themselves James Gregory said, as he worked with bondo to fill a hole in the side of one wooden car.
The cars can be no heavier than 5 ounces, and to get the weight of each car right, holes must be drilled in the car so that carefully cut weights can be added.
“We found that out the hard way,” Paula explained, on the East Gadsden Baptists RA’s first trip to the state race. “We were shaving on cars to get them to 5 ounces.”
When the weight is adjusted, racers get to sand, paint and decorate their cars to perfection.
Clark Kennedy appears to be as excited about Pinewood Derby racing as any kid could be.
He was among those working on his car and trying out the track recently at East Gadsden Baptist. He’s also planning to enter a Pinewood truck in a the truck category race on March 1. Kennedy, a former bailiff at the Etowah County Courthouse, said he’s gotten a few of the judges committed to coming out to race against his truck.
Paula said the races give children the experience of making something, and participating in a constructive activity.
And it’s great fun, she said.
For more information call the numbers included in the story, or call Chad Holderfield at 256-458-8246. For a copy of the racing rules for the associational race in Prattville, visit alsbom.org.