The Dinoco 400 is a Piston Cup Racing Series event. In Cars, it is the final race of the 2005 season, and it is held at the Motor Speedway of the South. Prior to the race, Strip Weathers, Chick Hicks, and Lightning McQueen are tied in season points that determine the Piston Cup champion. However, due to a tire malfunction from McQueen, the race results in the first three-way tie in the league's history. A three-way tie-breaker race is then set to take place one week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway. Chick Hicks ultimately wins the season, although many see McQueen as the true winner due to Hicks' poor sportsmanship.
Early on, Weathers, Hicks, and McQueen work their way to their usual positions at the front of the pack. Hicks and McQueen fight to pass one another, and their quarrel ends with Hicks performs a PIT maneuver on McQueen, causing him to spin out towards the infield. McQueen recovers quickly, and Hicks notices. He intentionally bumps the car next to him, who collides with the following racer, and soon everyone behind Weathers and Hicks are involved in a chaotic pile-up. However, McQueen carefully weaves through the crowd, much to the awe of the audience.
While all the racers pit, McQueen opts to reject his team's tire changes and only slurp gas, in favor of getting back out quickly and maintaining a massive lead. Going into the final leg of the race, McQueen has significantly farther ahead than the others.
When the final lap arrives, McQueen is leading by an entire lap. Right as announcers Darrell Cartrip and Bob Cutlass prepare to crown the champion, McQueen's back tire blows out as he rounds the very last corner. McQueen tries his best to maintain as much speed as possible, but he has slowed down immensely, which only worsens when his other rear tire explodes. Weathers and Hicks round the final corner, and prepare to pass McQueen, who is desperately jumping towards the finish line. McQueen, Hicks, and Weathers all pass the finish line at the exact same time -- causing the fans and announcers alike to excitedly speculate.
Officials take time to study footage and determine a winner while the competitors take interviews and make sponsor appearances. The officials announce that the race has been called a three-way draw, and the three first-place finishers will compete in a tie-breaker race at the Los Angeles International Speedway one week later.
- As of Cars 3, the Dinoco 400 is no longer the final race of the Piston Cup season. At least in that year, it is the Florida 500 or the Los Angeles 500.