Disney and Pixar are gearing up for the upcoming new film, Cars 3. They’re pulling out the stops, revving up the engines and getting ready to go full throttle. To help spread the word, and to bring the real world of racing closer than ever before, Cars 3 will be teaming up with NASCAR for a season long partnership that will include life-sized figures, NASCAR driver voices, official merchandise and much more.
The fun will kick off this Sunday, as the voice of Lightning McQueen himself, Owen Wilson, will be serving as Grand Marshall of the 59th annual Daytona 500.
But who will be in the film? NASCAR and Pixar announced the line up today at a special press conference where they unveiled the new characters, as well as the entire cast.
THE VOICES OF NASCAR
The announcement included the introduction of NASCAR greats — from rookie drivers and legends to the voices behind the sport — tapped by Pixar Animation Studios to voice characters in the film.
* CHASE ELLIOTT, 21, was named 2016’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year after finishing last season 10th in the driver standings. Elliott, who pilots the No. 24 car previously driven by four-time champion Jeff Gordon, lends his voice to second-generation Piston Cup racer CHASE RACELOTT in “Cars 3.” Racelott’s blend of skills, track smarts and top-of-the-line technology make this rookie a real contender.
* RYAN BLANEY, a 23-year-old, third-generation racer, pilots the No. 21 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. He voices third-generation racer RYAN “INSIDE” LANEY in “Cars 3.” Known for his racing passion and ability to have fun on the track, Laney races with talent, speed and precision.
* DANIEL SUÁREZ, who just turned 25, pilots the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion can be heard in the film voicing DANNY SWERVEZ, a next-gen racer who’s ascending the Piston-Cup ladder against all odds. A mid-season replacement, Swervez is a quick learner who pushes himself to the limit.
* BUBBA WALLACE, 23, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2013, becoming the first African-American to win in one of the top three touring divisions since Wendell Scott in 1963. In “Cars 3,” Wallace voices next-gen stock car racer BUBBA WHEELHOUSE, a fast and tenacious young racer who knows how to win.
* DARRELL WALTRIP, the NASCAR Hall of Fame racer-turned-NASCAR on FOX color analyst lends his voice to DARRELL CARTRIP. Cartrip, a veteran Piston-Cup announcer also heard in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” may think he’s seen it all — but this new season might still have a surprise or two in store.
* SHANNON SPAKE, NASCAR on FOX correspondent and college football and basketball reporter for FOX Sports, voices on-the-track reporter SHANNON SPOKES in the film. Spokes weaves her way into the middle of the action for in-the-moment interviews, and she’s not afraid to ask racers the tough questions.
* HOWARD AUGUSTINE “HUMPY” WHEELER JR., the legendary NASCAR promoter and former president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, lends his voice to iconic Dinoco team owner TEX DINOCO in “Cars 3.” Tex, who met Lightning McQueen in “Cars,” would love nothing more than to see No. 95 decked out in Dinoco blue.
* JEFF GORDON, four-time NASCAR champion, current NASCAR on FOX analyst, and story consultant for “Cars 3,” lends his voice to JEFF GORVETTE. Gorvette, whose number of top-10 finishes remains unmatched, may have hung up his racing tires — but his heart remains on the track. His ability to succeed at all levels turned hoods wherever he raced.
* RICHARD “THE KING” PETTY, team owner and champion NASCAR driver with 200 wins, returns to the role of STRIP “THE KING” WEATHERS. From his humble beginnings on the Piston-Cup circuit to the glitzy sponsorship and media attention, the champion racer now serves as crew chief for his nephew, Cal Weathers.
* KYLE PETTY, retired NASCAR driver and current NASCAR commentator on NBC, helps bring CAL WEATHERS to life in “Cars 3.” Weathers grew up around the track watching his uncle, Strip “The King” Weathers, tear it up. The veteran racer finds himself taking a step back to make room for the next generation on the track.
* MIKE JOY is FOX Sports’ lead NASCAR announcer who will call his 38th DAYTONA 500 this Sunday. He lends his iconic voice to on-the-spot radio talk show host MIKE JOYRIDE in the movie. Joyride stays one step ahead in the racing news game by keeping a keen eye on where the racing season is headed.
* RAY EVERNHAM, winner of three NASCAR championships as crew chief for Jeff Gordon and current consultant to Hendrick Motorsports, lends his voice to RAY REVERHAM, Jackson Storm’s crew chief, and an expert at training in the cutting edge technology and tactics being used by the next-gen racers. Evernham also serves as a story consultant for filmmakers.
Also Disney and NASCAR will team up to bring fans new merchandise, both on the track and online. The fun will begin this weekend at Daytona, where fans can get movie inspired merchandise. Don’t know about you, but I really need a DinoCo shirt!
Other initiatives will include cross-promotion on social platforms, as well as sweepstakes and contests.
Here’s a few more details:
* Throughout the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, races will feature a “Cars 3” at-track presence via a wide array of promotions.
* A co-branded merchandise program with Fanatics — the first of its kind for NASCAR and the “Cars” franchise — will also kick off at the DAYTONA 500 featuring the first film-related product available for fans to purchase. Product will be available at the Fanatics Trackside Superstore continuing at race tracks throughout the season, as well as online at the NASCAR.com Superstore.
* NASCAR Acceleration Nation, the sport’s youth program, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be featured throughout the duration of a “Cars 3” nationwide tour.
* Later this year, NASCAR and Disney will release NASCAR Acceleration Nation and “Cars 3” co-branded in-classroom learning materials for elementary school students.
We really want to get our picture with the Cars 3 racers, as well as some of that merchandise! Cars 3 hits theaters on June 19th, and will race across the country all summer long with NASCAR.