Conner Cannady wins “Best of Show” at Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race

Saturday was a big day for Cub Scout Pack 523 of Jonesboro. Anyone whoever participated in Cub Scouts will understand why. It was Pinewood Derby Day. It was especially a great day for Conner Cannady as the son of Jeff & Candace Cannady of Quitman came home with the “Best of Show” trophy for his TANK car. 

For those who may not be familiar with the Pinewood Derby and its importance in a young man’s life in an overall summation it is about a parent and child working togetherboys scout 1 to build lasting memories. How is that you ask? 

Often times it is the first time that a parent and a child work together to build something. What they the hope is the outcome is a 5 ounce or less car that goes fast, looks cool or both, constructed out of a kit that contains four plastic wheels, four nails and a block of wood. 

Once the “race car” is finished the youth competes with other Cub Scouts on a gravity powered track, wooden track with hopes that theirs is the fastest in competition. It is a tradition that goes back to 1953 when the first Pinewood Derby was held in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Cannady’s car finished in 9th place in the race among the 37 competitors from all over northeast Louisiana but winning the “Best of Show” award is just as important as having the fastest car among the scouting community. This means that his car was voted by the other 36 competitors as being the “coolest” car that was entered. 

What was the inspiration to his unique design?

“I saw a picture of my great grandfather (Jack Cannady) in his World War II army uniform and my other great grandfather (Harold Grayson) worked on tanks in World War II,” said Cannady. “That made me want to learn more about them, the Army, and the history about it.”

Canady then came up with the idea for his car to honor them. First, he drew what he wanted his TANK car to look like on a 7in piece of pinewood. Cub Scout Committee Chairman, Brian Hurt, cut the design out with a scroll saw, then Conner with help from his mother (Candace Cannady) sanded and painted his way to the finish line. 

Conner is in the third grade at Quitman High School and a member of Hodge Baptist Church. The master of Cub Scout Pack 523 is Mark Thomas of Jonesboro and the Bear Den mother is his mother, Candice. 


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