I received an all expense paid trip from Disney to attend the #Cars3Event. The opinions expressed here are my own and I received no monetary compensation. #PuppyDogPalsEvent #ABCTVEvent #TheToyBox #BornInChina
A couple months ago, Disney invited me to the Cars 3 press trip. My fellow bloggers and I spent a lot of time at Pixar Studios, learning more about the The Toy Box, Born in China and Puppy Dog Pals. We also got to spend a day at Sonoma Raceway, learning everything there is to know about racing. We got some hands on instruction on how to change a tire with the pit crew, visited a garage, drove a race car simulator and were passengers in a real race car. I’m checking that one off the bucket list, it was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I’m glad I rode in a race car and lived to blog about it, because I was second guessing my sanity on some of those turns at 100mph.
We also had the opportunity to hear from Jay Ward (Cars 3 Creative Director) and Ray Evernham (Former Crew Chief for Hendrick Motorsports). They gave us a run down of the history of racing, which was totally fascinating to this NASCAR novice. It made me that much more excited for Cars 3 (hits theaters on June 16th!) and an appreciation for the sport. This comes at no surprise, but Pixar put a great amount of research and thought into the history of the racing when making this film. Cars 3 will be introducing us to 4 new racing legends, characters inspired by real people involved in the sport.
NEW Cars 3 Characters, inspired by NASCAR legends:
River Scott is inspired by Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver in NASCAR and the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR’s highest level. When Pixar was researching for Cars 3, they learned that drivers often listed their mechanics names on the back on their cars. Keep an eye on the back of River Scott’s car in the film!
Junior “Midnight” Moon is inspired by former moonshiner and NASCAR driver, Junior Johnson. NASCAR apparently has roots in the bootlegging world, where fast cars were a necessity to outrun the law. Johnson now owns Midnight Moon, a distillery company that distributes a legal version of his family’s old moonshine recipe.
Smokey Yunick, a legendary mechanic and crew chief, inspired the character Smokey. Yunick also designed cars and was known for his outspoken personality that bent the rules. Yunick ran “Smokey’s Best Damn Garage in Town” in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1947 – 1987. Yunick was twice named NASCAR mechanic of the year and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport.
Louise “Barnstormer” Nash was inspired by Louise Smith, “the first lady of racing”. She went to her first NASCAR race in 1949 as a spectator, but ended up entering her family’s new Ford coupe in the race and rolled it. My kind of lady! She went on to win 38 races across four divisions.
After riding in a race car, I’m even more excited for Cars 3 to hit theaters on June 16th! Check out the latest trailer:
Take a look at my race car experience at Sonoma Raceway, it was caught on GoPro: