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Down and derby with the wooden racers

Boy Scout Joey Brennan helped set up a heat of cars at Saturday’s Pinewood Derby in North Canaan. Photo by Alexander Wilburn

At the Pinewood Derby, boys don’t take the wheel so much as let go and watch gravity do its work. The key to victory in this miniature-car race is all in the preparation — and as the motto goes, a Boy Scout is always prepared. 

The Pinewood Derby is a yearly tradition that dates back to the car-obsessed 1950s. It pairs a bit of healthy competition with mechanical ingenuity (in lieu of big engines) and some old-fashioned craftsmanship. 

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