Lightning decides to return to his roots – recalling the wisdom imparted on him by his beloved mentor, the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet. Ultimately, he turns to his coach’s coach—Smokey, who was there during Doc’s heyday—for guidance and inspiration, and eventually realizes the power of mentorship.
Pixar consulted NASCAR veterans, including four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham, who served as Gordon’s crew chief for three of his championships. “We did a lot of research,” says Fee. “We looked at athletes in other sports, but really focused on NASCAR drivers. They start at such an early age and their lives are centered around driving."
Then in March they held a media event for Cars 3 at Pixar Studios in San Francisco and then brought the press to the Sonoma Raceway.
Was I invited? Nope. I just learned of it. Sigh. It was probably only for hardcore Disney old blue blood press. http://www.chipandco.com was invited. I gotta see if they can tip me on who to bribe, blackmail, or pay off, in order to get on the approved press list.
Chris Cooper voices Doc Hudson’s crew chief Smokey;
Junior Johnson lends his voice to Junior “Midnight” Moon;
The plan was to have an actor voice this part, then Pixar met the Last American Hero, the only living member of the legends. “They weren’t run off by my accent, I guess,” says the 85-year-old former moonshiner, who now pushes legal corn squeezins, also named Midnight Moon. “They gave me one line to read where my car says he discovered how to use the draft at Daytona. I looked up at the movie folks and said, ‘Yeah, that’s true. I did.'” (I just learned this last week and hadn't posted it yet)
Isiah Whitlock Jr. is the voice of River Scott.
“We did so much research on NASCAR history, and these four jumped out as these incredible stories of inspiration,” director Brian Fee says of the Cars 3 dirt-track quartet. “Lightning is at a place in his life where it’s about overcoming obstacles. No one faced longer odds than Wendell Scott, racing where he did, primarily in the South, during the era when he did it, in the 1960s, and with little money at all. It really is amazing.”
Margo Martindale provides the voice of Louise “Barnstormer” Nash; (Margo is a favorite actress of mine from enjoying her performances in Dexter, Justified, and 28 Days - terrific cast in that movie, the Rocketeer, and Nobody's Fool where she was working with Paul "Doc Hudson" Newman... crazy connection huh?)
This character is an homage to Louise Smith, the “First Lady of Racing,” who competed in NASCAR from 1945 to ’56, winning 38 races across four divisions
In 1947, Smith drove down from Greenville, South Carolina, to watch the races on Daytona Beach. But she hated being behind the fence and entered her husband’s new Ford coupe. She wrecked out, hopped a bus home and conjured up a lie to tell Mr. Smith about the missing car, only to find out a photo of his smashed Ford was in the local papers. “We’ve all got great stories,” Johnson says of Smith. “But hers might be the best one of them all.”
and the concept art design for Jackson Storm? By the very talented former head of Ford Global Design and Chief Creative Officer, J Mays.... most famous for designing the Audi TT, the new Beetle, and who also designed vehicles in Zootopia http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/02/vehicles-in-zootopia-movie-by-pixar.html
An homage to the famous beach races of a century ago? Pendine, Ormand, Daytona, 90 Mile Beach... ?