Disney's 'Cars 3' secrets and fun facts

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More than 10 years ago, Lightning McQueen raced into kid's hearts and remains a classic character in Disney's "Cars 3."

A new generation of race cars blindside McQueen and he finds himself pushed out of the sport. “The next-gen racers are cool,” said director Brian Fee in a news release. “You can see instantly that cars like Jackson Storm are effortlessly fast. We designed these younger, faster cars to be sleek and aerodynamic — and they’re a sharp contrast to Lightning McQueen.”

Several stars lend their voices to the "Cars 3" characters, including Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Cristela Alonzo (Cruz Ramirez), Armie Hammer (Jackson Storm). Others include Kerry Washington, Nathan Fillion, Lea DeLaria, Lewis Hamilton and more.

Walt Disney Pictures shared some fun facts you may not know about "Cars 3." Take a look.

There are four new characters in "Cars 3"

River Scott, Louise
(Credit: Walt Disney Studios)

River Scott, Louise "Barnstormer" Nash, Junior "Midnight" Moon and Smokey are four new characters in "Cars 3," inspired by real NASCAR legends.

Artists built eight race tracks for the film

The race tracks included Los Angeles International Speedway,
(Credit: Disney/Pixar)

The race tracks included Los Angeles International Speedway, Copper Canyon Speedway in Arizona, Iowa Speedway, Motor Speedway of the South in Nashville, Thunder Hollow Dirt Track, Thomasville Speedway, Georgia Super Speedway and Florida International Super Speedway.

Lightning McQueen features five distinct looks

In
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

In "Cars 3," Lightning McQueen's look pays homage to his original paint, a primer look he gets following a devastating crash, a custom wrap ordered by Sterling and more, according to Walt Disney Pictures.

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Areas in the southeast U.S. were visited for research

There were several key areas in the southeast
(Credit: Walt Disney Studios)

There were several key areas in the southeast United States that were visited to research the history of stock-car racing. The places visited included Charlotte, N.C., where filmmakers spent time at the NASCAR museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsports facility, consultant Ray Evernham's garage and voice talent Humpy Wheeler's house. Other places include: North Wilkesboro Speedway; Occoneechee State Park and Speedway; Daytona, where they saw the Daytona International Superspeedway, Daytona Beach (where early races took place), Daytona 500 Museum; and the Sonoma Speedway, where filmmakers rode along with professional racecar drivers.

Thomasville's forests are made up of 587,000 trees

According to Walt Disney Pictures, the surrounding forests
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

According to Walt Disney Pictures, the surrounding forests in Thomasville are made up of 587,000 trees -- 70 trees make up that forest, half of which are deciduous trees that have lost their leaves. These were built specifically for "Cars 3."

Cruz Ramirez has a compelling story

Cruz Ramirez has an emotional story. According to
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Cruz Ramirez has an emotional story. According to Walt Disney Pictures, character riggers gave Cruz a total of 656 controls, including 360 for her body and 296 for her face, to give her a dynamic range of motion and expressions. Her mouth, lips, teeth and tongue have 216 controls alone.

A NASCAR announcer lends his voice for the film

FOX Sports' NASCAR announcer Mike Joy has called
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

FOX Sports' NASCAR announcer Mike Joy has called 38 Daytona 500s and is the voice of on-the-spot radio talk show host Mike Joyride in the movie.

Mud isn't easy to get right in an animated feature

Artists and technicians teamed up to get the
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Artists and technicians teamed up to get the look just right -- not too thick, not too thin -- which was important because mud, splatters, dust, sand and dirt appear in 616 shots, according to Walt Disney Pictures.

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Miss Fritter is a local legend at the Thunder Hollow Speedway

Miss Fritter collects license plates of past competitors.
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Miss Fritter collects license plates of past competitors. She wears a total of 33 plates dangling from her school bus sides.

Original race cars could move 100 gallons of moonshine

NASCAR veteran and
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

NASCAR veteran and "Cars 3" consultant Ray Evernham said the original race cars -- cars that were geared up for speed -- could move 100 gallons of moonshine if they pulled out the backseats. Stock car racing followed as drivers realized that their ability behind the wheel attracted spectators.

Some characters are named after NASCAR legends

Louise Smith entered her first NASCAR race in
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Louise Smith entered her first NASCAR race in 1949. She drove her family's new Ford coupe. "Cars 3" character Louise "Barnstormer" Nash was named after Smith.

Lightning McQueen goes very fast on his last lap

On his last lap with Cruz Ramirez on
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

On his last lap with Cruz Ramirez on Fireball Beach, Lightning McQueen tops out at a speed of 198 mph.

More than two dozen characters take part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby

Twenty-five characters take part in the Crazy 8
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Twenty-five characters take part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby sequence: T-bone, a car whose condition improves temporarily when he gets hit; SuperFly, who catches air; FareGame, the taxi who doesn't get any fares; and Jimbo the pickup truck.

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"Midnight" Moon was based on a 1950s NASCAR driver

Junior Johnson, a NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

Junior Johnson, a NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who inspired "Cars 3" character Junior "Midnight" Moon, won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966.

Lightning McQueen crashes

According to Walt Disney Pictures, the dramatic, slow-motion
(Credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

According to Walt Disney Pictures, the dramatic, slow-motion crash scene in which Lightning McQueen hits a wall and rolls several times takes 24 seconds.

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