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Procare’s 2nd Annual Pinewood Derby

2012 "Firecracker 5000" Pinewood Derby Race at ProcareWhat could be more fun than a summertime car race? The staff of Procare Software recently held their second annual race, known as the “Firecracker 5000”. Each person began with a pinewood derby style car kit and from there designed it for speed, style or both. Prizes were awarded to the top three finishers in a double-elimination bracket and also to the three cars that received the most votes for “best in show”.

The winner for 2012, Software Consultant Scott Schneider, did not think he had much of a chance after having to tape the left front wheel on shortly before race time and credited “luck” as his secret to success. Scott not only had a fast car, but a well crafted and visually appealing design featuring a notched front end with copper tubing, which also captured him 2nd place in the best of show voting. That’s an impressive 1-2 finish. Scott, who previously won best of show in 2011, certainly has a flair for style.

1st Place: Pinewood Derby Car by Scott Schneider

2011 defending champion Steve Suarez, of Technical Support, finished 2nd in this year’s race. Steve has set a high standard for future derby car events. No other competitor has come close to winning as many race heats over a two-year period, making Steve the odds-on favorite for 2013. As the saying goes, “just wait ‘til next year!”

2nd Place: Pinewood Derby Car by Steve Suarez

Finishing in 3rd place was Chief System/Software Engineer Darren Gapp, who got a chance to show that his skills apply to automotive as well as software engineering and that it pays to “Keep calm and chive on”.

3rd Place: Pinewood Derby Car by Darren Gapp

The best in show winner, V.P. of Sales, Rick Waldron and his family, prefer to think of it as the “best in SHOE” award; their highly original design, called the “Shoe In”, looked like a tennis shoe complete with rubber logo on the heel. According to Rick, their plan was to come up with a name that “meant we had already won, before the race even started”. Clever, especially coming on the “heels” of their 2nd place finish, for best of show, last year.

Best of Show: Pinewood Derby Car by Rick Waldron

Coming in 3rd place in the best of show competition was Jennifer Lennox, Director of Online Services, whose sparkly green June Bug design (complete with wings) was both eye catching and vote getting.

3rd Place in Best of Show: Pinewood Derby Car by Jennifer Lennox

2012 Race Results

  1. Scott Schneider (sales)
  2. Steve Suarez (support)
  3. Darren Gapp (engineering)

2012 Best of Show

  1. Rick Waldron (sales)
  2. Scott Schneider (sales)
  3. Jennifer Lennox (online services)

A special thanks to the sponsors of our race, Jeff and Tina Blum. Jeff proved his value not only as president of the company, but also as the starting gate engineer, who made sure the race was fair and impartial, even though his car did not quite make it to the finals. ☺

One last note of thanks goes to IT Manager Kevin Malone, for coming up with a simple, but effective, method to identify the winner of each race heat; the first car to cross the finish line triggered a light above that lane. This replaced our Windows based timer from the prior year, which was not completely reliable.

See you at the races and, until next time, cheers!


P.S. You may also be interested in race results and photos from last year. See: 2011 Race Results

If you have questions or comments about this article (or suggestions for another article) I’d be pleased to hear from you. Drop me a note at or Follow Me on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 Procare Software ® – All Rights Reserved


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