Cadiz Methodist hosts pine wood derby
by Franklin Clark, Reporter --
Jan 26, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During what organizers say was the first Pine Wood Derby Cabin Fever Classic, people competed with 43 pinewood cars at the Cadiz United Methodist Church on Saturday morning and afternoon.

Organizer Brian Hulstrom is with DNA Racing, which hosted the event, and he said e attended the Bluegrass Nationals in Somerset last summer. The race was for both adults and kids, and he said he didn’t know there was pinewood racing for people other than Cub Scouts.

“I walked in the door, and I felt like I was seven years old again, and it was such a wonderful feeling that I decided I wanted to share it with Cadiz,” Hulstrom said. “It’s been challenging getting it off the ground, but I’ve gotten a lot of sponsors.”

Hulstrom said that there won’t be any more Bluegrass Nationals so he wants to keep some kind of pinewood racing competition alive in Trigg County. He said that attendance was good, considering it’s in its first year.

Like all such derbies, people race 7-inch pinewood cars down a gravity track, with each race lasting only 3 – 4 seconds.

There are different classes: Cub Stock, Modified, Superstock and Outlaw. In every class but the outlaw class, there are adult and youth division, and those 14 years old and younger compete in the youth division.

The outlaw class is for cars that didn’t meet the requirements for other classes, and he said it’s there so everybody who entered a car gets to race.

“We have cars from Maine, Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky racing today,” Hulstrom said on Saturday. “We’ve got kids from seven years old up to knocking on 60.”

Hulstrom said there were cars in the event that cost $400, cars that cost $3.85 to make and everything in between, but all the cars are competitive in their classes. He raced one of his own cars on Saturday, and he said he’s been known to work 50 – 60 hours on a car just tweaking it.

Sometimes, the difference between winning and losing can be a few thousands of a second, he said, adding that hurt feelings after the fact are few and far between.

“It’s not a very harsh competition, there’s a lot of friendship and camaraderie among us,” Hulstrom said. “The kids that build their cars for $4 have just as great a smile as the guy who spent the year making one that cost $400, and that’s what this is all about: being happy and having a good time racing.”

He also said that already there is considerable word of mouth among those who competed and attended the derby, with many of the younger players “burning up the phones” talking to their friends about it.

There were 60 people there on Saturday, and Hulstrom said he hopes to have at least 100 cars competing there, at least 120 people in attendance and more car classes for next year’s Cabin Fever Classic. He added that the church has asked him to put on another derby in the fall as well, although he hasn’t committed to that yet.

Hulstrom is originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but moved to Cadiz with his family more than five years ago. He has five kids, and two of them, Lief and Noah, competed and won trophies on Saturday, as did his wife Tawnya.

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