By Amanda Butterfield
SANDY — Boy Scouts are going to be very excited when they see the huge track being built for a special Pinewood Derby race to be held Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. It’s not just the biggest track in Utah, it’s the biggest ever.
For the first time, the race wasn’t only for Boy Scouts — registration was open for anyone race, and everyone is invited to watch.
The Pinewood Derby track will be more than 325 feet long when it’s done, and it’s going to break a world record.
Usually the derby tracks that engineer Steve Atkinson builds are 30 to 40 feet long. At 10 times that size, “It’s easily the longest I have worked on,” he said.
Saturday, hundreds of Scouts and adults will get to put the pedal to the metal.
Mike Plowman with the Utah National Parks Council, which is helping host the event, knows when it comes time to measure this track before the race it will be the world’s longest.
“The world record was set in February, and it was 263 feet,” he said.
The best part about Saturday’s race: “Everybody who gets an opportunity to race on the track is a winner,” Plowman said. “They get the chance to have a patch, ribbon and race on the world record track.”
But the track isn’t quite ready yet — it’s still not finished.
“The biggest challenges are the joints,” Atkinson said. “They have to be almost perfectly smooth.”
And, everyone involved is hoping for no rain.
“We might have cars splashing through the ditches down there,” Atkinson said, “but we’ll deal with it.”
Organizers are also concerned about wind, as they don’t want any debris on the track, so they’re watching the weather closely.