Mid-America Council shatters Guinness World Record for longest Pinewood Derby track

You’ve never seen a Pinewood Derby track this long, guaranteed.

The Nebraska-based Mid-America Council now owns the Guinness World Record for the longest Pinewood Derby track ever constructed, with a track that surpassed the previous record-holder by more than 2.5 times.

The track, unveiled at the Mid-America Council Boy Scouts Jubilee on Oct. 15, 2016, in Ashland, Neb., had an official measurement of 1,819 feet and 3.75 inches.

That beat the previous record — 713 feet, 3 inches — set on Sept. 19, 2015, by the Order of the Arrow’s Wenasa Quenhotan Lodge in London Mills, Ill.

The longest-ever Pinewood Derby track measured more than 606 yards — or roughly the length of six football fields. It took the winning car 1 minute and 16.7 seconds to make it from start to finish, and some cars were clocked at speeds of 45 to 50 mph in the steepest section.

News of the new Guinness World Record was first reported on Scouting Newsroom.

The event

The Jubilee was about more than setting a Guinness World Record.

As explained in this Omaha World-Herald story, the event brought together more than 5,000 Scouts and their families to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scouting in the Nebraska area.

The superlong track was a draw, sure, but the event’s real success came from the message underneath.

“We had the moment where we set a world record, and that was awesome,” said Greg Dawes, a Scout leader and one of the men behind the idea to build a record-setting track. “But this is not about the record. It’s about teaching our young men what we can do when we have a vision.”

The team

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As with any Scouting project, this one took teamwork. A critical member of that team was engineer Shawn Ovenden, who also is Scoutmaster of Troop 558 in the Mid-America Council.

He said the hard work paid off when they opened the track for Scouts to test their cars.

“There were hundreds of kids and adults in line waiting,” he said. “This is a great example of what you can accomplish as a community when you work together.”

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From left: Mike Evano, Mid-America Council program director; Jimmy from Guinness World Records; Shawn Ovenden, HDR Engineering and Scoutmaster of Troop 558; Chris Merk, Omaha Carpenters Union; Greg Dawes, Mid-America Council Pinewood Derby Committee Chairman and leader in Pack 558 and Troop 558; Glen Jewkes, Jewkes Engineering (Pinewood Derby car builder); and Rob Barrett, Mid-America Council Activities and Civic Service Chairman.

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Glen Jewkes, Jewkes Engineering (left) and Greg Dawes of First Mortgage and leader in Troop 558 and Pack 558

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Chris Merk (center) of the Omaha Carpenters Union is project construction lead. Members of the carpenters’ union are to his left and right.

“These gentlemen did an incredible job with the construction,” Ovenden said.

The flyover

The first-person view