Cars 3 opens in theaters on June 16th and these Cars 3 Fun Facts will blow your mind! Little tidbits of knowledge about some of the real NASCAR inspirations, creating the race tracks in Cars 3, and more. Stay tuned for even more inside scoops on Cars 3 as I hit the red carpet and interview some of the cast this weekend!
Cars 3 Fun Facts
These Cars 3 Fun Facts are brought to you Natalie Certain: By the Numbers
Natalie Certain is a highly respected statistical analyst who knows her numbers. Book-smart and mathematically gifted, Certain is a fresh voice in the racing world. While she may earn top marks in her ability to evaluate a racer’s stats, she could be underestimating the importance of determination.
Real NASCAR Legends Inspire Cars 3
The filmmakers of Cars 3 added four characters to the film that were inspired by real NASCAR legends.
#1 Junior Johnson: A NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966, and inspired “Cars 3” character Junior “Midnight” Moon.
#2 Louise Smith: 1949 NASCAR legend, Smith entered her first race in 1949 where she rolled her family’s new Ford coupe. She inspired “Cars 3” character Louise Barnstormer Nash who shares her racing number of 94.
#3 Wendell Scott: 2015 NASCAR’s Wendell Scott, who inspired “Cars 3” character River Scott, was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015. Scott raced under No. 34, so naturally, “Cars 3”
legends character River Scott also assumes the number
#4 Henry “Smokey” Yunick
Two other inspirations for Cars 3 from the racing world include:
- Bubba Wallace who won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2013, and inspired as well as voices next-gen stock car racer Bubba Wheelhouse in “Cars 3.”
- Daniel Suárez who was the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion and voice of next-gen racer Danny Swervez in “Cars 3,” pilots the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Cars 3 Research
When research the history of stock-car racing, five key areas in the southeast U.S. were visited. Among these areas are:
- Charlotte, North Carolina: Filmmakers spent time at the NASCAR museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsport facility, consultant Ray Evernham’s garage and voice talent Humpy Wheeler’s house/
- North Wilkesboro Speedway
- Occoneechee State Park and Speedway
- Daytona: Where filmmakers saw the Daytona Superspeedway, Daytona Beach (where early races took place), Daytona 500 Museum
- Sonoma Speedway: Filmmakers were invited to ride along with professional racecar drivers.
Creating Cars 3
I’m guessing a ridiculous amount of time and work went into creating Cars 3 and it would have been pretty awesome to interview the creative minds behind Cars 3 during the Cars 3 Event. We are not so these Cars 3 Fun Facts will have to do for know and it gets dirty, really dirty. And it turns out, dirt (particularly mud) isn’t easy to get right in an animated feature. Artists and technicians teamed up to get the look just right, not too thick, not too thin, which was important because mud, splatters, dust, sand and sacred dirt appear in 616 shots!
Thankfully they saved some time on the clouds library for “Cars 3”. It features thousands of cloud pieces, and 85% of the clouds in “Cars 3” came from the cloud library for “The Good Dinosaur.” While all those clouds made it into two films, we can’t say the same for some of the storyboards. Artists created more than 80,000 storyboards during the production of Cars 3 and just 10,102 made it into the final sequences.
When it came to creating the racing in Cars 3, artists designed and built eight race tracks for the film:
#1 Los Angeles International Speedway
#2 Copper Canyon Speedway (Arizona)
#3 Heartland Motor Speedway (Iowa) – shout out to my home state!
#4 Motor Speedway of the South,
#5 Thunder Hollow Dirt Track
#6 Thomasville Speedway
#7 Georgia Super Speedway
#8 Florida International Super Speedway – Artists, designers and technicians at Pixar Animation Studios were able to install 30,000 lights at the Florida Speedway for the final race of the film and they. all. work!
Characters of Cars 3
While McQueen is the star of Cars 3, there is another key character with a compelling and emotional story. Cruz Ramirez. In order to give her a dynamic range of motion and expressions, character riggers gave Cruz a total of 656 controls, including 360 for her body and 296 for her face – the mouth, lips, teeth and tongue have 216 controls alone!
Keep your eyes out for more than two dozen characters taking part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby sequence! They include Tbone, a car whose condition improves, temporarily, when he gets hit; SuperFly, who catches air; FareGame, the taxi who doesn’t get any fares; and Jimbo the pickup truck.
Lightning McQueen in Cars 3
More than a decade has passed since Lightning McQueen made his rookie debut in “Cars” back in 2006. Don’t worry, McQueen still sports the dynamic #95 with his signature lightning-bolt graphics in Cars 3. Although, the design of those graphics is a hybrid of his look from 2006’s “Cars” and his look in 2011’s “Cars 2.” He also sports five distinct looks in “Cars 3,” including one that pays homage to his original paint, a primer look he gets following the devastating crash, a custom wrap ordered by Sterling, and more! I’m guessing those five looks come after the dramatic, slow-motion crash scene in which Lightning McQueen hits a wall and rolls several times. Which only takes 24 seconds.
Catch Lightning McQueen on the track again when Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th!
Don’t forget to follow along on social media from June 9th – 11th for the #Cars3Event!