The Piston Cup Racing Series, known as the Hudson Hornet Piston Cup Series in 2010, is an auto racing series championship in of stock cars. From 2017 to the present day, high-tech next-gen racers started dominating the circuit.
In 1951, Hudson Hornet started racing and won in 1951, 1952 and 1953 season. He achieved thirteen victories in 1951, twenty-seven victories in 1952, and twenty-two victories in 1953 and sixteen victories in 1954. In one of those seasons, Louise Nash started racing, being the first and only one woman to race in the time of the 1950s. She won three races in a row in her first season against Hudson Hornet. Because of discrimination, she had to steal her racing number to get her first chance on the track. But Louise's fearless driving style soon won her the respect of every car she raced.
In a race in one of those seasons on the Thomasville Speedway, Hornet was pushed against the wall by Leroy Heming. But with quick thinking, Hudson performed a flip maneuver over him and crossed the finish line.
In 1954, on a race on Fireball Beach Hudson Hornet lost control while powersliding and rolled several times, receiving serious damage, and after that, he was hospitalized.
The 2005 season saw seven-time Piston Cup champion Strip Weathers, constant runner-up Chick Hicks, and popular new rookie Lightning McQueen, who debuted at Glen Ellen, as the leading competitors. The final race of the season, called the Dinoco 400, was held at the Motor Speedway of the South. The three leading racers all had a score of 5013 points, meaning whichever of the three placed first would take home the Piston Cup and the coveted Dinoco sponsorship.
Towards the start of the race, a large incident was caused by Chick Hicks with the intention of separating himself from the gaining McQueen. The accident involved every racer except for Weathers, Hicks, and McQueen, as the latter skillfully managed to make his way through the crash without taking any damage. The other racers received damage, however, such as Chuck Armstrong, who was taken out of the race by a tow truck.
Subsequently, Lightning McQueen arrogantly refused pit stops, which allowed him to gain an entire lap advantage on the other racers, which continued into the final lap of the race. However, as McQueen rounded the final turn, his tires blew out, leaving him crawling to the finish line. The other racers caught up to him, and McQueen, Hicks, and Weathers all crossed the finish line at the same time, making it the first three-way tie in Piston Cup history. A tie-breaker race between the three was set to be held at the Los Angeles International Speedway.
However, during Lightning's journey there, he fell out of his trailer and ended up in the small town of Radiator Springs, where he accidentally ripped up the road and was sentenced to community service. Once Lightning served his time, he was taken to the race, where he found it difficult to concentrate due to missing the friends he made while there. However, Lightning was joyful when he discovered that Hudson and the other townspeople had come to serve as his pit crew.
Lightning, who had learned new abilities from his friends, utilized them during the race, which allowed him to hold up well against his two competitors, eventually taking the lead. Hicks, frustrated with constantly placing behind Weathers, performed a pit maneuver on him, causing the seven-time champion to spin out of control and take heavy damage. McQueen, noticing similarities between Weathers' and Hudson's accidents, stopped just before the finish line and reversed up to Weathers, and helped him to the finish line, believing the old-timer should finish his last race. Despite being the victor, Hicks was booed for his actions, while McQueen was congratulated for his good sportsmanship.
In 2006, Lightning McQueen won his first Piston Cup as seen in Cars: The Video Game. He also won other two Cups between 2007 and 2009. After Doc Hudson's death in 2009, the Piston Cup was renamed Hudson Hornet Piston Cup for one year, as a tribute. McQueen captured his fourth Piston Cup in 2010 and the veteran racer became a 4 time Piston Cup champion. Between 2011 and 2015 Lightning won another three Piston Cups and he became a 7 time Piston Cup winner and also the oldest racer, since others retired between those years. Also during the 2015 season, Brick Yardley won twice.
In the 2016 season, the Piston Cup logo recieved an update. At the Dinoco Light 350 in the Motor Speedway of the South, Lightning won the race. In the next race at Rocker Arms International, McQueen and Cal both went for first place at last lap with Cal being the winner. The Georgia Motor Speedway race was won by McQueen.
At the Dinoco 400 at Copper Canyon Speedway, McQueen was in the lead with Bobby second and Cal third, but suddenly all three were beaten by the rookie Jackson Storm, who was the one of several next-generation cars, they've had faster engines and aerodynamic bodies. Storm also won the next races at the Motor Speedway of the South, Grandol Oil Co. Raceway, BnL Raceway, and Rustbelt Raceway. After the last one, Cal Weathers retired from the sport by the tip of his uncle, many other veteran racers have left the sport too, the companies were firing them in favor of the new generation.
At the race at Los Angeles International Speedway, the grid consisted of mostly of high-tech rookies. After the race's start, McQueen started to overtake others and even catch Storm on last laps. When they both came in to pit, McQueen's pit stop was faster than Storm's, and Lightning took the lead. Jackson quickly caught up with Lightning and took the lead after insulting McQueen for being too old. Following the Storm's words, McQueen start slowing down and was overtaken by Daniel Swervez and Chase Racelott, losing two positions.
McQueen then tried to catch Storm and the others, but his right-rear tire blew out, making him lose control, hit the wall, and and started rolling, getting serious injuries. The race was delayed and Lightning was hospitalized, while Storm proceeded to win the race and become the 2016 Piston Cup champion.
Four months later, McQueen was practicing and getting into shape to beat Storm at the Florida 500 on the Florida International Super Speedway alongside his personal trainer Cruz Ramirez, former Doc's crew chief Smokey and several Piston Cup veterans. Lightning missed all qualification sessions, and because of this, he would start dead last. At the race Smokey replaced Mater as the team's crew chief. After the race's start, McQueen quickly began overtaking others and made steady progress through the ranks.
In the middle of the race, the new owner of Rust-eze, Sterling, said to Cruz that she should train racers instead of watching the race. Lightning heard that on the team radio and remembered that Cruz dreamed to be a racer. Because of that, he forgot about the race and did not notice a big accident in front of him. After that he got out of it and continued the race.
When all racers were called back to the pits, McQueen rejected the pit stop and said, that Cruz Ramirez should come back. He asked Guido to change her tires, Fillmore to refuel and Ramone to repaint her. After that, he had a surprised Cruz take his place. Smokey deided, that Lightning should become her crew chief and gave him a headphones. Using tactics she learned while practicing with Lightning, Ramirez was able to overcome other racers, and even caught up with Jackson Storm. He attempted to distract her from winning, same as with Lightning and when she also began to slow down same as him, Lightning cheered her up so she caught Storm again. Being angry, he pushed her against the wall when she tried to pass him, but Cruz performed a flip over Storm, as Doc Hudson done in the 1950s, and won the race.
Officially, Cruz won the race with McQueen, because they both used number 95. After the race, Tex Dinoco asked her to join his team, that was still seeking the new driver after Cal's retirement, and bought Rust-eze. McQueen decided to pull out from racing to mentor her, getting a new paint job, designed in honor of Hudson Hornet, while Ramirez, also the next generation racer from now, chose number 51, also paying him tribute. With McQueen as the mentor Cruz continued to win races for the rest of the season and even won the 2017 season Piston Cup.
The Piston Cup races are big events sponsored by lots of trademarks and covered by the Racing Sports Network (RSN), which creates live televised broadcasts, in addition to providing other media coverage. Modern races take place at huge racing stadiums, which traditionally have oval-shaped tracks, although the shape may slightly vary from track to track, such as at the Los Angeles International Speedway.
A Piston Cup championship consists of various races where the competitors earn points in relation to their placement in the final rankings of the event. At the end of the season, the car with the most points wins the championship and receives a Piston Cup trophy.
Races can vary from seven to 500 laps. Each competitor has a team of pitties, a crew chief and a hauler, which are sponsored, and may help the racer by giving advice via headsets, and by providing fuel and tire changes during pit stops.
|Alabama Speedway||A standard race track.||Alabama|
|BnL Raceway||A standard race track.||Unknown||owner: Buy n Large|
|Copper Canyon||A standard race track.||Arizona||events: Dinoco 400 (Cars 3)|
|DataShift Raceway||A standard race track.||Unknown||events:
|Fireball Beach Course||A dirt track||Fireball Beach||events:
|Florida International Super Speedway||A standard race track||Florida||events:
|Georgia Motor Speedway||A standard track||Georgia||owner: Mood Springs,|
|Glen Ellyn||A standard race track.||Unknown|
|Grandol Oil Co. Raceway||A standard race track||Unknown||owner: Grandol Oil Co.|
|Heartland Motor Speedway||A standard race track.||Unknown||
|Los Angeles International Speedway||A standard race track||Los Angeles||events:
|Motor Speedway of the South||A standard race track||Motor City||events:
|Rocker Arms International||A standard race track||Unknown||events: Iowa Hybrid 450|
|Rustbelt Raceway||A standard race track||Unknown||
|Thomasville Speedway||A dirt track||Thomasville|
|Virginia Speedway||A standard race track||Virginia|
These are speedways that appear in other media as well as video games. Although not canon, some of them are considered to be canon by the viewer if they wish it to be.
|Backfire Canyon Speedway||A standard race track||The World of Cars Online|
|Beachside Speedway||A standard race track||Beachside||The Rookie||events: Beachside 500|
|Big Heartland Speedway||A standard race track||The World of Cars Online|
|Charlotte Springs Speedway||A standard race track||Charlotte Springs||Cars 2005 teaser trailer|
|Palm Mile Speedway||A standard race track||Palm Mile||Cars: The Video Game|
|Petroleum City Super Speedway||A standard race track||Petroleum City||The World of Cars Online|
|Smasherville Speedway||A standard race track||Smasherville||Cars: The Video Game|
|Sun Valley International Raceway||An standard race track||Sun Valley||Cars: The Video Game|
|Treadwell Motor Speedway||A standard race track.||Treadwell||Mater Private Eye|
|Tailgator Speedway||A standard race track||The World of Cars Online|
List of known champions
- Doc Hudson: 3 times (1951-1953)
- Kraig Shiftright: 2 times (1970s)
- Klint Shiftright: 3 times (1990s)
- Haul Inngas: 1 time (between 1990s and 2006)
- Darrell Cartrip (before 2006)
- Strip Weathers: 7 times (before 2006)
- Chick Hicks: 1 time (2006)
- Lightning McQueen: 7 times (between 2007 and 2016)
- Jackson Storm: 1 time (2017)
- In Raily Race comics Hudson Hornet was show as Hudson's accident after its he ends his racing carier. It was show that crash caused by his rival, Sammy, that sideswiped him out, and Doc hit racer with number 57, somersaulted and landed on wheels, while Sammy won that race and became a champion.
- In the comic The Rookie, it was mentioned that Lightning McQueen's first race was on Beachside Speedway and he replaces Sammy Smelter after his crash.
- In the book Race Around the World, it was shown that in the 2010 season, Claude Scruggs finished second and Misti Motorkrass finished 3rd.
- In the DS version of Cars 2: The Video Game McQueen was competing in the "Hudson Hornet Memorial Cup" alongside three unnamed racers, looking similar to him. Lightning won the championship.
- Acoording to some comics Lightning McQueen was originally sponsored by Smell Swell and started racing in 2004, meanwhile in the films this has never been mentioned. And in some other comics they say that McQueen's first race in the 2005 season was in the Bowling Lake, while according to Cars 3 it was in Glen Elyn.
- The Piston Cup is based on the real world NASCAR Cup series, known as the Winston Cup series from 1971 to 2003. In 2004, however, NASCAR severed relations with Winston and the award became the Nextel Cup, quickly changing to the Sprint Cup after Sprint bought out Nextel. Incidentally, the Hudson Hornet competed in the Grand National era of 1950 to 1970. Title sponsorship with Sprint ended after 2016, merging with Monster Energy to create a new title, the "Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series", starting in 2017. Title Sponsorship Monster Energy after 2019, Before 1950, in 1949 there was "Strictly stock".
- In real life, contemporary NASCAR vehicles would not be able to compete against vehicles of the Grand National era. This is because modern NASCAR vehicles are spec, racing-built sedans with sophisticated racing technology whereas Grand National era cars are modified production cars. Today's NASCAR sedans would greatly outperform the stock cars of the Grand National era. Also, NASCAR safety technology has dramatically evolved since the Grand National era and thus drivers of such vehicles would be at a greater safety risk than those driving today's NASCAR sedans.
Notes and references
- These statistics can be found in descriptions of Hudson's racing history at Cars Land in California.