* Like every Pixar movie, it contains references to other Pixar films (both short and feature-length). Also plenty of references to {{NASCAR}}.
** The name [=McQueen=] itself is a reference to Glenn [=McQueen=], a senior animator on early Pixar films who died of cancer in 2002; Lightning is named as a tribute. The {{Pixar}} staff takes pains to point out that it wasn't, as is commonly thought, a reference to Steve [=McQueen=], he of the [[Film/{{Bullitt}} famous car chases]].
** Lightning himself uses [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Lightyear Buzzard]] brand tires, and the Lightyear blimp can be seen at races. This one is a twofer: a hark back to Buzz Lightyear and a {{pun}} on Goodyear Eagle tires. Additionally, the Dinoco brand is the name of the gas station Woody and Buzz get stuck at, while also a pun on Sunoco, the current brand of race fuel used by NASCAR. And Lightning's number, #95, is a reference to the year ''Toy Story'' was released..
** Can't forget the Drive-In scene. I sure wonder how ''[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Toy Car Story]]'', ''[[WesternAnimation/MonstersInc Monster Trucks, Inc.]]'' and ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' were received by car critics.
** One of the Piston Cup racers, Mac iCar, is sponsored by AppleMacintosh. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was also one of the founders of {{Pixar}}. May also count as ProductPlacement.
** Near the end of the film, Luigi can be seen making fun of [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros a clearly Italian-based car that is shorter and fatter than him. Whose grill apparently resembles a mustache.]]
* The King is not only voiced by Richard Petty, but is painted in the same blue shade that Petty's 1970 Plymouth Superbird was painted in.
** In fact, his crash during the climactic race is modeled after his notorious crash at the 1988 Daytona 500.
* Dale Earnhardt, Jr. voices [[InkSuitActor his own #8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo]].
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