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The Piston Cup Racing Series (renamed The Hudson Hornet Memorial Piston Cup in 2010 and The Piston Cup) is a racing competition that Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks and other race cars race . Doc Hudson and The King also used to race there, but they retired.

Original Piston Cup Logo


1954 Piston Cup Season (Cars)

1954 Piston Cup Logo

Nothing much is known in the 1954 season of the Piston Cup, but during the championship race, Hudson Hornett was sideswiped by Sammy and suffered a severe crash which ended his career after a fanfare absent.

2005 Piston Cup Season (Cars)

In the 2005 season, Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks, and The King were tied with the same amount of points, and it was the final race in the season. Lightning got a huge lead in the race after skipping a pit stop. On the final lap, he blows his rear tires, so he hops towards the finish line. The King, Chick Hicks, and Lightning all tied. A tie-breaker race was going to be in Los Angeles International Speedway in one week.

When Lightning was in Radiator Springs, he discovered that Doc Hudson was the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, winning 3 Piston Cups, from 1951

New Logo as seen on Lightning's hood in Cars 2

1952, and 1953. Then, in 1954, he got into a crash, and his sponsors quit on him and went on to the next Rookie standing in line, so he finished his racing career and moved to Radiator Springs.

Mack and the reporters found Lightning, and they took him to the tie-breaker race. However, he couldn't concentrate on the race, because he missed his friends in Radiator Springs. Then he realized that everyone in Radiator Springs is now his pit crew. Using backwards driving taught by Mater, a fast pit stop from Guido, and turning right to go left taught by Doc, Lightning took the lead. However, Chick crashes The King, and Lightning thinks of that to be similar to Doc's big crash, so he gives up his chances of becoming the first rookie to win a Piston Cup to help The King across the finish line.

2006 Piston Cup Season (Cars: The Video Game)

Lightning's next Piston Cup Season in 2006 was about to start. To get ready, he learned how to turn on dirt from Doc. He also joins Sarge's Boot Camp for a while. And Mater taught him how to drive backwards. Lightning was ready for the Piston Cup. The races were in Palm Mile Speedway, Motor City Speedway of the South, Sun Valley Speedway, and Smasherville International Speedway. After the race at Smasherville International Speedway, Lightning challenges Chick to the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, which was 3 races in different parts of Radiator Springs, with one last Piston Cup race. Lightning won at least 4 races and his first Piston Cup. Then he went on a road trip with Sally, Mater, and Doc.

2010 Piston Cup Season (Cars 2)

Hudson Hornet Piston Cup Trophy. (The only change is that a small statue of Doc is added at the top and the words "Hudson Hornet")

Between the events of Cars and Cars 2, Doc Hudson has passed away, so the Piston Cup was renamed the Hudson Hornet Memorial Piston Cup in honor of him. Lightning came home with his 4th Piston Cup, which was also his first Hudson Hornet Piston Cup.

2016 season

McQueen about to do an airborne

In 2016 many are replacements of a racer in the 2005 season and racers sponsored by new sponsors. After Jackson Storm won the Dinoco 400, racers were replaced by next gens. Cal Weathers retired after the race before the last race of the season. and Bobby Swift and Brick Yardley were fired by their sponsor and were replaced by Daniel Swervez and Chase Racelott. Here McQueen suffered from an accident and the season ended up with Storm winning and

Piston Cup Champions

Original Piston Cup Trophy

Piston Cup Winners List
Name Years Won Number Sponsor
Hudson Hornet 1951,1952,1953 (3 times) 51 Smokey's garage
Kraig Shiftright Late 70s (2 times)
The King 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s (7 times) 43 Dinoco Oil
Darrell Cartrip 1981, 1983, 1985 (3 times) 17 DW Store
Klint Shiftright 1990,1991,1993 (3 times)
Harold "Haul" Inngas 1999 (1 time) 79 Retread
Brush Curber 2000 (1 time) 56 Fiber Fuel
Chick Hicks 2006 (1 time) 86 Hostile Takeover Bank
Lightning McQueen 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 (7 times) 95 Rust-eze
Cal Weathers 2012 (1 time) 42 Dinoco Oil
Bobby Swift 2015 (1 time) 19 Octane Gain
Jackson Storm 2016, 2018 (2 time) 20 INGRT
Cruz Ramirez 2017,2019 (2 time) 51 Dinoco Oil
Chase Racelott 2020 (1 time) 24/9 Vitoline


  • The Piston Cup is based on the real world Winston Cup, awarded to NASCAR champions from 1971 to 2003. In 2004, however, NASCAR severed relations with Winston and the award became the Nextel Cup, quickly changing to the Sprint Cup after Sprint bought out Nextel. Incidentally, the Hudson Hornet competed in the Grand National era of 1950 to 1970.
  • In real life, contemporary NASCAR vehicles would not be able to compete against vehicles of the Grand National era. This is because modern NASCAR vehicles are spec, racing-built sedans with sophisticated racing technology whereas Grand National era cars are modified production cars. Today's NASCAR sedans would greatly outperform the stock cars of the Grand National era. Also, NASCAR safety technology has dramatically evolved since the Grand National era and thus drivers of such vehicles would be at a greater safety risk than those driving today's NASCAR sedans.
  • In the NASCAR Cup Series is the same thing almost like the Piston Cup The series began in 1949 as the Strictly Stock Division, and from 1950 to 1970 it was known as the Grand National Division. In 1971, when the series began leasing its naming rights to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was referred to as the Winston Cup Series. A similar deal was made with Nextel in 2003, and it became the Nextel Cup Series (2004–2007).[1] Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, and in 2008 the series was renamed the Sprint Cup Series, which lasted until 2016. In December 2016, it was announced that Monster Energy would become the new title sponsor starting in 2017.