News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007

Unique car designs, blazing speed all part of Pinewood’s appeal

By Michael Wetzel · 340-2462

Mike Ponder has seen his share of Pinewood Derbies, but can only shake his head and admit the speedy cars and their unique designs never cease to amaze him.

“I am impressed every year with the speed of the cars and the creative designs the scouts come up with,” said Ponder, activities chairman for the Arrowhead District of the Cub Scouts.

The Arrowhead District includes Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties.

Drake Hamilton of Falkville’s Pack 5 had one of the car designs awing the judges at Saturday’s scout competition at Colonial Mall.

Hamilton’s pinewood car design was a wedge of cheese with a mouse at the controls. Hamilton’s creation earned him best of show at the annual district event.

For speed, the car owned by Wolf scout Kyle Budisalich of Priceville Pack 275 nipped one by Tiger scout Chase Laxson of Athens Pack 236 to claim the title of fastest car.

“The cars seem to get faster every year,” Ponder said.

“This is our first year holding the race at the Colonial Mall. We want to show the public that scouting is alive in North Alabama. The staff at the mall and our nine volunteers bent over backwards for us to help it be a success today.”

Ponder said 74 cars raced Saturday, representing the largest field in district history.

In the best of show category, other winners include: second, Jaylin Foster, Pack 275, Priceville; third, Christopher Bartholomew, Pack 132, Decatur; fourth, Timothy Smith, Pack 92, Decatur; and fifth, Thomas Ramey, Pack 68, Decatur.

For speed, other winners were: third, Ramey; fourth, Will Ezell, Pack 280, Athens; and fifth, Brandon Moye, Pack 68, Decatur.

More information

For a complete list of winners and photos of the district competition, visit

Ponder urges people interested in joining the scouts to call him at 606-4700.

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