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Revision as of 19:51, June 25, 2017

Finn McMissile Surprised
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Piston Cup logo
The Piston Cup Racing Series is a racing series championship that has hosted championships for decades, across several generations of racers and champions. The Piston Cup series is known to date back to at least 1951, where the Fabulous Hudson Hornet and others competed in dirt tracks. In modern times, however, racers compete in large stadiums, with carefully maintained race tracks and immense space for spectators.

Season history

1951-1953 seasons


Hudson's 1952 and 1953 Piston Cups.

The 1951, 1952, and 1953 Piston Cup seasons were won by the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, during his prime. Hudson acquired three Piston Cup trophies, despite his philosophy that they are "just empty cups".

Hudson achieved thirteen victories in 1951, twenty-seven victories in 1952, and twenty-two victories in 1953.[1]

1954 season

1954 newspaper

A 1954 newspaper detailing Doc's accident.

Hudson's prime ended when he received serious damage from an accident. According to comics it caused by rival racer Sammy "The Studebaker", that wiped him out and won a championship that year, but in Cars 3 shown a part of race, in which he took the lead, lost control and repeatedly rolled. His injuries rendered him unable to compete for the rest of the season. While Doc made a healthy recovery, when he returned wishing to race again, he was shunned in favor of newer and younger race cars, leading him to settle as a doctor in the small town of Radiator Springs, and choosing to hide his past.

Prior to his accident, the Fabulous Hudson Hornet acquired sixteen victories in 1954.

2005 season

Dinoco 400

Dinoco 400

The 2005 season saw seven-time Piston Cup champion Strip Weathers, constant runner-up Chick Hicks, and popular new rookie Lightning McQueen 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 5,013 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 accident 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 ladder 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.


The first three-way tie in Piston Cup history.

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.


McQueen assists Weathers to the finish line.

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.

2006 season

Lightning Chick Palm Mile

A confrontation between Lightning McQueen, Doc Hudson, and Chick Hicks.

Weathers' retirement saw the rivalry between Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks grow larger than ever before, with the media putting an emphasis on it. The 2006 season consisted of five races, taking place at five different stadiums; Palm Mile Speedway, Motor Speedway of the South, Sun Valley International Raceway, Smasherville Speedway, and Los Angeles International Speedway. After losing to McQueen in the first three races, Chick hired the Delinquent Road Hazards to steal Lightning's racing gear from Mack's trailer while he was traveling the Interstate. However, McQueen and Sheriff caught them, and they revealed their alliance with Hicks. At Smasherville Speedway, McQueen confronted Hicks, and the two agreed to have a four-race event, with races in Radiator Springs, Tailfin Pass, and Ornament Valley, followed by the final race at the Los Angeles International Speedway.


McQueen wins the 2006 Piston Cup season.

The event was covered by Darrell Cartrip and the Racing Sports Network, and broadcasted live on television. Lightning won the three events in Carburetor County, and proceeded to defeat Hicks and win the Piston Cup trophy at the Los Angeles International Speedway. McQueen placed his trophy next to Doc's three Piston Cups on the windowsill of his clinic.

2007-2011 seasons

Hudson Hornet Piton Cup

Hudson Hornet Piston Cup trophy

Between 2009 and 2011, the Piston Cup was renamed the Hudson Hornet Piston Cup, in honor of Doc Hudson, who died of unknown causes. McQueen won the Piston Cup series in 2009 and 2010, with the now-veteran race car picking up his fourth victory in 2011. Immediately following the 2011 season, McQueen was invited to compete in the World Grand Prix.

2017 season

Jackson storm10

Jackson Storm

The 2017 season marked the debut of several custom-built next-generation race cars, most notably Jackson Storm. During the season, long-time champion Lightning McQueen was consistently losing to Storm and the other rookies, leading fans to question his ability to hold up against the competition. The problems worsened when McQueen was involved in a crash that forced him out of the sport, similarly to what had happened to the racer's mentor, Doc Hudson. Jackson Storm proceeded to win the season.

2018 season

Following his accident, McQueen trained with the goal of defeating Storm at the Florida 500. When the race finally came, however, McQueen continued to struggle, and instead chose to send out Cruz Ramirez as the Rust-eze representative and became her crew chief. Using tactics she learned while practicing with Lightning, Ramirez was able to overcome Storm and the other racers, and win the race.

Other seasons

In The World of Cars Online, players could become a Piston Cup champion by competing in a series of races, which were held at Tailgator Speedway, Big Heartland Speedway, Backfire Canyon Speedway, Petroleum City Super Speedway, Motor Speedway of the South, and Los Angeles International Speedway.


Old Pisto Cup logo

Old Piston Cup logo.

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, as well as sponsorship from Dinoco, a fuel brand closely associated with the Piston Cup series.

Races can vary from 7 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.


Image Name Description
Backfire Canyon Speedway A desert-themed track with several turns, including a series of turns in an "S" shape.
Big Heartland Speedway A standard race track with a grassy infield and several turns.
Jackson storm10
BnL Raceway A standard race track.
Copper Canyon A standard race track.
Florida 500
Florida International Speedway A next-generation race track located in Florida
Georgia Motor Speedway A standard track supported by Mood Springs.
Grandol Oil Co. Raceway A standard race track supported by Grandol Oil Co..
LA Speedway 4
Los Angeles International Speedway A large stadium located in Los Angeles, California. The track has two straightaways of the different lengths; the first perfectly straight, with the second having a slight curve.
MSS Cars
Motor Speedway of the South A large, ovular stadium located in Nashville, Tennesee. Piston Cup events held here often take place when the sky is dark, and because of this, the track is surrounded by lights.
Palm Mile Speedway
Palm Mile Speedway An ovular stadium themed around palm trees, which can be found in the infield, as well as around the exterior of the track. There are also several white buildings found behind the pit row.
Petroleum City Super Speedway A race track with various sharp turns. The track is unique in that it has intentional obstacles, in the form of petrol puddles that racers must avoid, or suffer a decrease in speed.
Rustbelt Raceway A standard race track.
Smasherville Speedway
Smasherville Speedway A long, ovular track with banked turns. During night races, the track is well-lit, and the infield consists of a pit row area, as well as some foundations in the center.
Sun Valley International Raceway
Sun Valley International Raceway A desert-themed track recognizable by the large rock foundation that forms an arch over the final turn, with competitors driving under it.
Tailgator Speedway A polished race track with standard straights and turns.
Cars 3 7
Thomasville Speedway A now-abandoned stadium with a dirt track.

List of racers





  • The Piston Cup is based on the real world Winston Cup, awarded to NASCAR champions 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".
  • 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

  1. These statistics can be found in descriptions of Hudson's racing history at Cars Land in California.
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