The Following contains a minor spoiler for Cars 3.
While the Cars movie franchise is about to take its third trip around the track, the series has never really been about auto racing. The newest entry looks to be changing that by making Pixar's first "sports movie" and as such the film is going to be full of a lot of different references to actual racing including one odd little easter egg to one of the strangest parts of the history of NASCAR, Jocko Flocko, a monkey who used to ride in a car during actual races.
Tim Flock was a racer in the 1950s who, as a gimmick, used to ride around with a rhesus monkey in the car with him. The monkey, Jocko Flocko by name, became something of a mascot of sorts. I had the pleasure of hearing about Jocko Flocko during a Cars 3 press day from Cars Creative Director Jay Ward. According to him...
Jocko Flocko gets a hat tip during one scene in Cars 3 that I was able to see. After Lightning McQueen is on the road to recovery following the crash you see in the trailer, he hits the road looking for places that he can train outside of the public eye. This leads Lightning to one of the old dirt tracks where his mentor Doc Hudson used to race, but since Lightning doesn't want people to know that it's him he goes in disguise. This results in Mack, Lightning's trailer, voiced by John Ratzenberger, getting himself disguised as well, as a truck advertising Jocko Flocko's Party Supplies, a reference to the former racing monkey.
This reference is the one surviving part of a series of jokes thaty had been previously planned for the film. Originally, Mack was going to find himself disguised as many different things over the course of the movie. According to story supervisor Scott Morse...
Jocko Flocko isn't the only reference to old NASCAR in the film, several of the sport's most famous racers, both old and new, have are recreated in Cars form. Fans will get a chance to pick them all out when the film hits screens on June 16.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.