Mid-South Derby and Ales race at Meddlesome Brewing 

This isn't a scouting story. It's about grown, beer-drinking men and women who've united to transform a cherished childhood memory into what might just be the greatest bar game to arise since billiards and darts — pine block car racing. But the dreams of speed and splinters started with the memory of being Cub Scouts, carving blocks of wood into hot rods and dragsters and racing them down a four-lane, 32-foot track to see whose derby "car" was fastest. The memory and joy was reawakened when the grown-ups had kids of their own and helped them build their model cars to race against other scouts. After all, why should kids have all the fun?

MidSouth Derby and Ales is a recreation of the childhood race experience but modified for adults. The first race brought out 20 competitors to show off vintage and newly carved pine cars that can weigh no more than five ounces. The second race promises to liven things up a bit with "outlaw races," allowing competitors to trick their cars in ways young scouts might only dream of.

click to enlarge Start your wood blocks!
  • Start your wood blocks!

"That's where we bend the rules," Derby and Ales co-founder Christopher Bryan says. The models can be bigger and modified with electronics.

"I've seen drone engines on them," Bryan says. "I've seen CO2 cartridges and computer fans. I'm building one right now that's beyond the five-ounce limit because the heavier they are, the better they race."

The next adults-only race is scheduled for June 6th at Meddlesome Brewing Company. Details for racers and fans can be found at derbyandales.com.

MidSouth Derby and Ales race at Meddlesome Brewing Co., Thursday, June 6th. Car check-in is 7-7:45 p.m., and races start at 8 p.m. Free. derbyandales.com.

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