By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The multipurpose room at St. James Catholic Church was filled with Cub Scouts shouting “Go Ethan, go Ethan,” on Saturday.
They weren’t necessarily cheering for Ethan because he was their favorite, but because both of the Pinewood Derby final racers’ names were Ethan.
Seven-year-old Ethan Bevering’s car, decorated with U.S. Marine Corps stickers, shot out first in the Pack 2627 championship race. But, as the cars came into the final push of the track’s downward slope, Ethan McGrath’s green car, cut into a sleek wedge, shot out and crossed the finish line first.
“Which Ethan were we cheering for?” one of the other boys jokingly asked his pack mates.
“I chose the same car as last year but this year I steadied the wheels,” said Ethan McGrath, 9. “My dad said the reason I didn’t win last year is because my wheels were wobbly so I steadied them for this year.” Bevering won each of his earlier races with his patriotic car.
“My mom picked out the stickers because I like soldiers and the military,” he said.
Each year, Cub Scouts are given a block of pine wood, four nails and four wheels and tasked with carving a race car. They can decorate it however they want and cut it into any shape.
“With their parents’ help they’re able to carve it and you can see the different designs are everything from a tank to a race car,” said Cub Scout Pack 220 leader Charlie Harden. “We even have one that is whittled down and painted to look like a log.”
After the car is carved, they add weights, lead or pennies usually, to get the car as close as they can to five ounces.
Andrew Williams, 9, a member of Pack 220, used the weights to help decorate his Hershey’s chocolate bar car.
“I found it on the Internet and I like Hershey’s chocolate so we painted the candy bar,” he said. The back of the car had three lead weights, similar in size and painted to look like broken off pieces of a Hershey bar.
He said you can’t eat it, but it goes petty fast.