McQueen: Thanks... wait, did you say "meet" or "beat"?
Storm: I think you heard me.
The latest and greatest in upcoming racers, with an attitude to match, Jackson is Lightning's main rival in Cars 3.
- Always Someone Better: He's this to Lightning and other older racers.
- Anti-Villain: Like Francesco Bernoulli, he's just a very talented Jerkass. The only villainous thing he does is trying to ram Cruz Ramirez into the wall in the finale.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: His last name is Storm.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of Cars 3, serving as Lightning's main opponent.
- Boring, but Practical: The key to his success lies in how well he can navigate the tracks, finding the most optimum circuit to take adjusted to circumvent whatever configuration his opponents are at the time. To his onlookers and rivals, it looks like magic, but in reality it's just consciously applied mathematics given the veneer of spontaneity because of his bravado.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The oversized lightning bolts on his sides resemble an S.
- Color-Coded Characters: He's the meanest of the racers, so naturally, he's black and dark indigo.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Jackson is quiet, cool, and fairly down-to-earth. A noticeable contrast to both Chick Hicks and Bernoulli, who are more loud and boastful.
- Dark Is Evil: He is black, which exaggerates his "dark" outlook.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Pulls one during the Florida 500 by ramming Cruz into the wall and taunting her even though he was in the lead, eventually causing her to regain hope which lets her overtake him for the win.
- Establishing Character Moment: When he first meets Lightning, he says to him, "You have no idea what a pleasure it is for me to finally beat you." He also proceeds to show him up and insult him over the course of the season.
- Evil Counterpart: He is a rude, arrogant, hotshot rookie racer, which is exactly how Lightning was in the first film. Downplayed in that he's not evil per se, but he is a dick. In addition, his name is an alternate form of Lightning's, since both have a weather-based definition in their names. He also shares a similar paint job in appearance (he being sleek black and blue, to Lightning being fiery red and gold), down to having a variation of Lightning's flash bolt motif.
- Flat Character: Unlike other hotshot Jerkasses (Lightning in Cars, Bernoulli in Cars 2), Jackson gets no Character Development at all.
- For Want of a Nail: Basically his sudden appearance at the final lap of the Dinoco 400 and winning the race is what causes the veterans to be replaced by next-gens in the first place.
- Gray Eyes: Representing his "empty" and arrogant attitude toward Lightning and the fact he only cares about himself.
- Jerkass: Jackson's arrogant and disrespectful to the older style racers, considering them to be old and out of date. His first line of dialogue in the film is "it's nice to finally beat you", said after coming out of nowhere to win a race with McQueen.
- Kick the Dog: His comments towards McQueen are easily considered as such. Especially during the Los Angeles 500 before overtaking him. He also does this with Cruz during the Florida 500.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He gets beaten by someone mentored by Lightning, whom he looked down on.
- Last-Name Basis: He is referred to by last name throughout almost the whole movie.
- Meaningful Name: Storms come before lightning.
- Oh, Crap!: Gets one during the Florida 500 when he notices Cruz has caught up to him once again, followed by a much bigger one when she flips over him and wins the race.
- Shadow Archetype: He is basically what Lightning could have become if he hadn't crashed into Radiator Springs.
- Skunk Stripe: When he is first introduced, his back bumper has a yellow double stripe, which is given to NASCAR racers in their rookie seasons. Post-Los Angeles 500, the stripe is gone completely.
- The Stoic: Downplayed in that he does show some emotion here and there, but compared to Chick Hicks and Bernoulli, Jackson is very calm and stern.
- Super Prototype: In a sense. He's the first new-generation car to join the Piston Cup, but still easily defeats even all other new-generation cars.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: The large, metallic blue lightning bolts on his sides, which are inflated in size and in the shape of an S.
- Trash Talk: Not above doing this, especially to older racers such as Lighting. He uses this on Cruz when she talks over for Lighting in the final race and it almost works but Lighting takes over as coach and gives her some encouragement to continue which ultimately allows her to beat him.
- Technician vs. Performer: His trash-talk is about the fanciest tactic you can expect from him. Jackson doesn't take undue risks and he doesn't really do tricks. He's formidable in the sense that in terms of conventional racing, he has the winning formula down pat because of careful study and preparation. Naturally, he's ill-prepared when big gambles and spontaneous tactics actually work against him; thinking several steps ahead can be deleterious when your opponent switches up the route.
- Toyless Toyline Character: Averted that he does have diecasts and merchandise releases, yet all of such feature him in his rookie look, with the yellow double-stripe on his back bumper. He has yet to receive a diecast of his "champion" appearance—without the stripe and with golden Piston Cup logos added.
- V8 Engine Noises: How his engine sounds like.
- Villainous Breakdown:
That race was fixed for ratings! You know I can beat you anytime, Lightning. I can beat anyone, anywhere! Just bring it!
- Once Cruz actually manages to catch up to him and threatens to overtake him, he resorts to trying to cause Cruz to spin out by ramming her into the side of the racing ring. Cruz manages to beat him by using one of Doc Hudson's techniques of flipping over him to escape and shooting toward the finish line, beating him and ruining his winning streak.
- He goes through another in Driven To Win once beaten in the final Master Level race:
- Villainy-Free Villain: Jackson Storm is a jerkass and the main rival to Lighting McQueen, but he never shows any villainy beyond that. He's never shown to be cheating or plotting to kill his enemy, he's just competition and acts like a jerk about it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate after the Florida 500 remains unknown.
- Where Is Your X Now?: Says this to Lightning at the start of the Los Angeles 500, doubling as a Wham Line:Hey, Champ...where'd all your friends go?
- Would Hit a Girl: Tried to ram Cruz during their race.
- Younger Than They Look: He's a rookie and the first next-gen to join the Piston Cup series, yet his appearance is larger and muscular than the veterans, making him appear older. Same goes with the other next-gens.
An entrepreneur who takes over Rust-eze after the previous owners sell the company over to him, thus becoming Lighting's new boss.
- Big Bad: While Jackson Storm serves as Lightning's main racing rival, he serves as Lightning's main opponent off the track.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He comes off as nice and friendly but in truth is a very shrew businessman who's trying to make Lighting quit racing so he can be the spokesman for the company.
- The Bet: Lightning makes one with him that if he can beat Storm, he can continue racing without having to be his corporate shill, if not, he'll lose his racing career forever. While Lighting doesn't finish the race himself, Cruz does so under his number which technically gives Lighting the win in their bet.
- Evil Plan: Get Lightning McQueen to retire from racing forever so he can take over as the sponsor for Rust-Eze.
- Get Out!: He wanted Lightning to give up racing in favor of becoming a businessman for his brand. He also wanted Cruz to leave the Florida 500 since she's just a trainer and nothing else.
- Good Is Not Nice: As friendly as he may appear, he's really very strict, cynical and picky, especially around Cruz since he doesn't consider her a racer.
- Humble Pie: After Lightning wins the race. Sterling didn't take his loss well and starts to whine about it as Tex has a talk with him offscreen giving him a deserved gentle humiliation.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Has deep bluish-grey eyes which hint at his strict personality and the fact he is secretly very haughty.
- Jerkass: Sterling's bad side begins to show over the course of the movie, culminating in him actively trying to prevent Cruz from replacing Lightning in the Florida race, not only because of his bet with Lightning, but also because he doesn't consider her anything more than a trainer. Then he acts as though he was on her side all along when she wins the race, but at that point everyone is just done with him.
- Meaningful Name: He is sterling silver, true to his name. His name also means "high-quality", referring to his image and attitude toward Lightning.
- Near-Villain Victory: Sure Lightning leaves the race halfway through to let Cruz take over, but if it weren't for their shared victory because of this, Sterling would've won.
- Oh, Crap!: When he see the leaderboard after the race and sees Lighting's name and number in first place alongside Cruz's, realizing he lost his bet with Lightning.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After realizing Lightning won the bet due to his and Cruz's shared win, Tex escorts him away, saying they have a lot to talk about.
A Piston Cup analyst and Chick Hicks' co-host.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Her last name is Certain.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She's painted maroon, but is not mean, though very strict.
- Meaningful Name: She seems to be certain about many things.
- Remember the New Guy?: She is introduced in Cars 3 as the Piston Cup analyst, yet we never heard about her before then.
A hot-tempered run-down school bus who is the world champion of the Thunder Hollow Crazy 8.
- Ax-Crazy: Proudly hangs the license plates of the cars she literally demolished in her derbies as grisly trophies, not unlike how a Predator hangs skulls of worthy adversaries around his neck.
- Badass Teacher: Implied, as she is a school bus.
- Blood Knight: She lives for the thrill of battle in the demolition derbies.
- Defeat Means Friendship: The closing credits shows Fritter constantly sharing songs and laughter with McQueen and Cruz, implying she has become close friends with the cars who defeated her.
- Emerging from the Shadows: How she is introduced.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: "Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool" reveals she was just a regular run-of-the-mill bus before becoming the tough Crazy 8 champion of today.
- Graceful Loser: Far from being angry that Lightning and Cruz defeated her in battle, Fritter becomes one of their most devoted fans. It probably helps that she was already a self-professed Lightning fan.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Representing the fact she's tough and won't stop until she wins.
- Improbable Weapon User: She converted her stop sign into a buzz saw!
- Incoming Ham: One word: "Boo."
- The Juggernaut: Due to her size, she always takes out her opponents one at a time.
- Light Is Not Good: She's vibrant yellow, not helping to add to her hotheaded personality.
- Mundane Made Awesome: She's a modified school bus who is an expert at the Thunder Hollow demolition derby and has a buzz saw made from a stop sign.
- The Nicknamer: She calls Lightning (disguised as "Chester Whipplefilter") "Muddy Britches" and Cruz (disguised as Frances Beltline) "Lemonade".
- No Indoor Voice: She nearly always talks like this.
- Worthy Opponent: Comes to respect Lightning and Cruz for besting her in battle, and from that day offers her undying support and friendship whenever they hit the race tracks.
A Crazy 8 racer and one of Miss Fritter's Mooks.
A Crazy 8 racer and another one of Miss Fritter's Mooks.
The Crazy 8's referee.
The former crew chief of Doc Hudson in his racing days.
- Deadpan Snarker: I think hes losin his hearing.
- Early-Bird Cameo: First appears in the archive footage of Doc's crash and is seen on various posters leading to the racing center's office.
- Irony: He's among those who tease Lightning about his age despite being decades older than him.
- The Nicknamer: He refers to Doc as "Hud". He also calls Louise "Lou".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Is a reference to Smokey Yunick, of "Smokey's Best Damn Garage in Town" fame, and was heavily involved in early NASCAR racing.
- Perma-Stubble: Over the years, he went from a solid, disaturated red to faded red-orange with rust spots.
- Red Is Heroic: Initally dark red during Docs days, but became a rusty lighter red as the years passed.
- Retired Badass: Originally Doc's crew chief, he helps train Lightning to get back on track and eventually becomes his.
One of Doc Hudson's former competitors.
- Did Not Get The Guy: Possibly. River jokes that she was in love with Doc during his racing days. Louise claims it wouldn't have mattered as Doc wasn't much into fast women.
- I Have Many Names: She is nicknamed "Barnstormer".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: She is based on and named after NASCAR legend Louise Smith.
- Pink Means Feminine: She is off-white with pink accents.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female racer in Doc's time.
Another of Doc's former racers.
A third former competitor of Doc.
Nephew of Strip "The King" Weathers and former racer for Dinoco. One of Lightning McQueen's closest friends.
- Butt-Monkey: Seems to be the butt of many jokes and has a hard time thinking of clever comebacks.
- Blue Is Heroic: Light blue, like his uncle, though more vibrant.
- Chaste Toons: He is voiced by Richard Petty's real life son Kyle.
- Face Death with Dignity: Though not actual death, ultimately decides to retire following the next-gens introduction. This disappoints Lightning as he points out hell miss racing with him.
- I'm Standing Right Here: A Running Gag with him where he always ends up being within earshot of his friends taking lighthearted potshots at him.
- Remember the New Guy?: He took over racing for Dinoco after his uncle retired following the events of the first film, yet he was nowhere to be seen in the games that follow it, nor was he mentioned once.
- Retired Badass: Like his uncle. He was the first veteran to give up his career following the arrival of the next-gens.
- Sweet Home Alabama: Speaks with a strong Southern accent, like his uncle.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Lightning and Bobby.
Another of Lightning McQueen's friends, the veteran racer for Octain Gain.
- Ascended Extra: One of two veterans to be playable in Driven To Win along with Brick.
- Punny Name: They don't call him "Swift" for nothing.
- Purple Is Powerful: Is painted a vibrant purple with orange trim.
- Remember the New Guy?: He's a veteran and one of Lightning's friends, yet he wasn't seen at all in the first film nor the video games that come after it. Lightning also had no friends (except for Mack) prior to his arrival in Radiator Springs.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Lightning and Cal.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't know what happens to him after his presumed replacement by Danny.
A third of Lightning's friends; the veteran racer for Vitoline.
- Ascended Extra: One of two veterans to be playable in Driven To Win along with Bobby.
- Punny Name: His name is a nod to "brickyard".
- Remember the New Guy?: He wasn't present at all in the first film, yet he says he was racing for Vitoline for ten years when he gets fired.
- This Cannot Be!: His reaction to being fired by his sponsor so Chase Racelott can take over.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate after being fired by Vitoline is unknown.
The next-gen racer for Octain Gain, having replaced Bobby Swift.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He is the first to genuinely congratulate Cruz after she wins the Florida 500, having accepted her as a fellow racer.
- Everyone Has Standards: Notices Jackson cruelly taunting Cruz.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: It's no wonder he is voiced by the same man who replaced a suddenly retiring Carl Edwards.
The next-gen racer for Vitoline, replacing Brick Yardley after he gets fired.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He congragulates Cruz after she wins the Florida 500, accepting her as a fellow racer.
- The Determinator: Despite getting caught up in a crash while on the track, he's still seen racing.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His voice actor, Chase Elliott, Rookie of the Year from 2016 and polesitter from Daytona 500. In real life, Chase replaced Jeff Gordon following his retirement in 2015, just as what happens in the film.
The next-gen racer for Transberry Juice.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He congratulates Cruz after she wins the Florida 500, accepting her as a fellow racer.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His name is definitely a pun on that of his voice actor. Like what occurs in the film, Wallace replaced Aric Almirola when he got injured that prevented him from driving for several months.
The next-gen racer for Team Blinkr.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He congratulates Cruz after she wins the Florida 500, accepting her as a fellow racer.
- Informed Attribute: His bio states he has a fun personality, but in the film he is shown to be serious and self-centered.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Sure his name is totally a pun on his voice actor's.
The next-gen racer for Easy Idle.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His primary color is a dark black. See Everyone Has Standards below.
- The Determinator: Gets caught in a crash during the Florida 500, but a few seconds later, and he's back in the race.
- Everyone Has Standards: Watches in shock as Lightning McQueen crashes during the Los Angeles 500.