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Western Animation / NASCAR Racers

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NASCAR Racers is an animated show about racing between two NASCAR teams, taking the Wacky Racing trope to the coolest extent. It was created by Saban Entertainment (using The Ocean Group voice cast) for Fox Kids, where it ran from 1999-2001.

Two rival NASCAR teams, Team Fastex and Team Rexcor, compete in futuristic races with one another on tracks with over-the-top technology in a new location almost Once per Episode. The first season focuses on the racing, but the Backstory of each character is examined further and loose ends are tied up in the second season. Season Two thickened the plotline, introduced more characters who weren't members of either Team Fastex or Team Rexcor, and had characters change teams on several occasions. Because of these factors, some fans consider Season Two the point when the series Grew the Beard. Hasbro Interactive released two games based off the series, one on the Game Boy Color, and one on PC.

A lot of parallels can be drawn from this series to Metajets.

  • Team Fastex
    • Jack Fassler: The leader and owner of the team.
    • Mark "Charger" McCutchen: Follows in the steps of his father in racing, and the rival of Lyle Owens.
    • Megan "Spitfire" Fassler: The obligatory girl, and a skilled driver whose adopted father Jack is the manager of the team.
    • Steve "Flyer" Sharp: A U.S. Airman who was injured in an accident on a mission, which has made him cautious in racing.
    • Carlos "Stunts" Rey: A real ladies' man who used to race in motocross. Races for money to pay for his ill father's medical expenses. Rexton hires someone to steal money from him.
    • Douglas "Duck" Dunaka: The team's trusted crew chief.
  • Team Rexcor
    • Garner Rexton: The owner of the team. A greedy, dishonest man who will stop at nothing to win. He's aided by a cyborg named Spex.
    • Lyle "The Collector" Owens: The star of the team, a ruthless and cruel racer who gets his nickname from arrogantly taking a part off of each car he wrecks, an unsportsmanlike habit that got him kicked off Team Fastex.
    • Hondo "Specter" Hines: A sneaky driver who teams up with Zorina to crash other cars.
    • Zorina: An aggressive, cruel racer who works with Specter to take other drivers out.
    • Diesel "Junker" Spitz: A clumsy delinquent who trashes cars when racing.

Of course, there was also a toy line. Also, there was a video game released for PC and Game Boy Color during the show's run, the latter of which featured a mission-based story mode in which you eventually took control of each of the aforementioned racers (plus a Secret Character) in different scenarios in the universe of the TV show. There was also an unlockable mode where you can race as the cars' rescue pods. The tracks were based on various famous locations around the world, names and all, whereas the GBA version referred to the tracks by their generic climates.

Tropes used by the series:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The characters and environments outside of the races are animated in 2D hand-drawn style, while the cars and race scenes are CGI. This can create a bit of a weird mix when the 2D humans are seen next to their 3D cars in exterior shots.
  • All for Nothing: After a BRUTAL race in the episode "Rumble", Stunts manages to win the "Stunts Cafe" unofficial race, only to find out the sponsor for this race cashed out everything, making the race itself pointless.
  • Alliterative Name: Around half the cast. There's Mark McCutchen (Charger), Steve Sharp (Flyer), Douglas "Duck" Dunaka, Hondo Hines (Specter), Mark's kid brother Miles McCutchen, his grandfather Mac McCutchen...
  • Amazon Brigade: Megan's all-female racing team, "The Spitfires". There's Megan herself (Spitfire), Zorena, Eve Kildere (Wild Card), and Chrome.
  • Ambiguously Human: After being spilled with chemicals, Lyle undergoes a change that makes him stronger. He's able to survive crashes that are impossible for a human to survive, thus making it questionable if he's even human anymore. Even his teammates, who were previously shown to intimidate him, find him unsettling.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Douglas "Duck" Dunaka appears to be of East Asian ancestry, despite "Dunaka" being an Indian surname (albeit a very rare one).
  • The Bus Came Back: Zorena in Season 2. She's Put on a Bus after Rexton boots her off of Team Rexcor and replaces her with Tanker, but later reappears as a member of Megan's "Spitfires" team.
  • The Casanova: Stunts is known for his vocal love of chicas.
  • The Collector: Not deliberate, but Lyle Owens didn't get his nickname for nothing. He collects car parts from the competitors he wrecks.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Garner Rexton is a greedy, vindictive man, who will use any sort of method to ensure his team wins. Whether that's sabotage, spying, and even outright attempted murder a few times.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Stunts tricks Rexton into giving one at the end of the second season by hiding a camera in his helmet.
  • Driving Stick: Even though the show takes place at some point in the future with physics defying tracks, the rocket-boosted cars still use H-pattern manual gearboxes like the NASCAR stock cars of the late 90s.
  • Expy: Garner Rexton is a ruthless and petty Corrupt Corporate Executive whose personality greatly resembles Lex Luthor. He even runs a company called "Rexcor".note  Subtle.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Spitfire takes one after Rexton convinces her into believing lies about her past. She also makes a new team herself called "The Spitfires".
  • Fake Defector: In "Duck Out of the Way", Fastex Team's chief mechanic leaves Fastex and joins Rexcor to find out how Rexton was sabotaging Fastex cars.
  • Family Theme Naming: The McCutchen family. There's the main character Mark McCutchen, his kid brother Miles McCutchen, and his grandfather Mac McCutchen. His father "Junior" McCutchen was likely "Mac McCutchen Jr.".
  • Fiery Redhead: Spitfire has quite the outspoken personality, along with her red hair, making her quite the fiery redhead.
  • First-Episode Twist: Megan convinces her father to let her join Team Fastex as the fourth member, "Spitfire", and Owens gets kicked off the team for his dirty tactics.
  • Five-Token Band: Everyone on Team Fastex besides Charger and Jack Fasler. There's the Latin-American Carlos Rey (Stunts), the African-American Steve Sharp (Flyer), the Asian-American Douglas "Duck" Dunaka, and the Token Girl Megan Fassler.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Charger is Choleric, Stunts is Sanguine, Flyer is Melancholic, and Spitfire is Phlegmatic.
  • Happily Adopted: Jack adopted Megan and is a loving father.
  • Jerkass: Lyle Owens is a self-centered, angry man, even willing to bully his rival Charger when he's suffering from an injured neck bone.
  • Latin Lover: Stunts. The guy can barely go five minutes without flirting with somebody. And the chicas regularly flirt back.
  • Legacy Character: Two characters use the codename "Wild Card" in the series. Lyle uses it in the first season and Eve Kildere in the second one. During his time using the codename, Lyle drives a car given to him by Eve.
  • Licensed Game: There were two video games based on the series, both released by Hasbro Interactive. The Game Boy Color game is a simple top-down racer. The PC version is a 3D racing game, and features character-specific power-ups, a campaign story mode, the option to race with pods, and the ability to use any of the cars seen in the show.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Rexton's grudge against Fassler stems from being rejected by Libby, the girl he loved and Libby going on to marry Fassler.
  • Meaningful Name: The greedy and egotistical Garner Rexton. The verb "garner" means "to collect" (like money), while "Rex" is Latin for "king". The Rexcor logo also depicts a T. rex.
  • Merchandise-Driven: In 2 senses. The name definitely shows that this show is in part a promotion for the NASCAR sports brand (which Fox Sports had the broadcast rights to at the time— they even had NASCAR drivers record promos for the show). The other sense is the cars themselves are very toy conscious with bright colors, cool features, occasional repaints and upgrades. Hasbro handled the toys in this case, as they did the above-mentioned licensed games.
  • The Mole: Lyle was this at the beginning as he was officially a Fastex driver but was spying on them for Garner Rexton.
  • Never My Fault: Lyle blames Charger for losing his job as a Fastex driver but he was fired because Jack Fassler doesn't approve what Lyle does to earn his nickname as "The Collector".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mark McCutchen bears a noticeable physical resemblance to Dale Earnhardt Jr., a Real Life NASCAR driver from the American South who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
  • Odd Name Out:
    • Team Rexcor's lineup consists (at various points) of "The Collector", "Specter", "Junker", "Tanker", "Demolisher", and..."Zorena".
    • Subverted with Team Fastex. Their initial lineup is "The Collector", "Charger", "Flyer", and..."Stunts". But Owens never officially uses his nickname during his time with them (Jack kicks him out when he finds out how he got the name), and they invite "Spitfire" to join soon after he leaves.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: A few extra characters, "Grim Repo" being the most prominent.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Charger is officially from Alabama—but his accent comes and goes.
  • Opposing Sports Team: If Fastex is the hero team, the opposing team for them is Rexcor. The philosophies of the 2 teams also are in sharp contrast. While Fastex is about skill and sportsmanship, Rexcor is much more about aggressive driving and winning by any means necessary.
  • The Rival: Through most of the series, "Charger" and "The Collector" are at each other's throats, particularly since Lyle lost his spot on team Fastex to him. Come season 2, there's a new hotshot rookie called Redline who turns into one for the other racers with his quick driving providing a challenge for all around him.
  • Robotic Reveal: To increase RexCor's chances of victory, Garner Rexton fires The Collector and replaces him with a new racer named Kent Steele. Steele is revealed to be a robot and Rexton's team loses all points as penalty.
  • Rule of Cool: It's racing in the future. With Rocket boosters, side boosters to allow for quick passes, robot race car drivers, and a bunch of bright colored cars. All to show cool racing action.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Flyer. Occasionally comes up for him during the series, and unfortunately, in the middle of some races. Kind of a surprising character trait to see in a show like this.
  • Ship Tease: From the start, there was something that Megan had for Conner that seemed to imply some kind of attraction to him.
  • Shout-Out: The Season 1 finale features a robotic antagonist who is seen emerging from fire with only his metallic endoskeleton left, as an obvious reference to The Terminator.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There aren't a lot of women drivers in real life, though.
  • Start My Own: Megan temporarily left Fastex to start her own racing team.
  • Tagalong Kid: Miles Mccutchen. Charger's younger brother who sometimes gets dragged into plots on accident. Or intentionally, depending on the plans by the adults.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The hand-drawn portion, at least. The effect is toned down a bit in Season 2.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: For the most part, the world of Nascar Racers seems pretty normal. With regular cars, planes, etc. However, race cars, despite still resembling stock cars, now have all sorts of extra features to provide a more awesome racing experience. And the tracks reflect that too, with loop de loops, crazy turns and a variety of other features.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Rear Bumper" is used to describe a character's butt on several occasions.
  • Wacky Racing: It's set a future where NASCAR has evolved into a Speed Racer style event around grotesquely dangerous tracks. Ironically, though, it's actually safer than real NASCAR, since all the vehicles have "rescue racers", an escape pod jettisoned in the event of a crash.
  • Wild Card: Despite Fastex and Rexcorp being the primary racers, starting in Season Two, there's a host of unaffiliated racers who also provide a challenge on the track, like Redline.
    • Lyle "The Collector" Owens uses the moniker "Wild Card" during the one race he enters as unaffiliated.
    • Subverted with the moniker's next user. Eve Kildere is a Spitfire team member during all races she enters as "Wild Card".