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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

Three Way Tie or Scoring Error? Why Lighting McQueen Is The 2006 Piston Cup Series Champion.

In the movie "Cars' we saw in the opening minutes three drivers battling out for the win as they came into the final race tied in points as Strip Weathers, Chick Hicks and Lighting McQueen each had 5013 points each. Now this was in 2006, in real life NASCAR had the chase back then as it was brought into the sport in 2004, also in 2006 there were 36 races total with that said each driver aggreged 139 points per race, which is an average finish of about 9th place. The only way they could be tied going into this race was if in the previous 35 races before this one each driver would have to have 9 wins each and rotate who finishes inside the top 3 every single race. If so they would not have a finish of 9th on the season, if so they would finish inside the top 6 in points most likely. Also with that they would had to of led the same exact amount of laps in every race to get those 5 and 10 bonus points, but here's the thing, there is no way they could've even led a single lap going into this race because there is no room in points for that, so you have three drivers who are going for the championship all tied in points and none of them have led a single lap?

We saw all three drivers lead a lap in the final race at the track "Speedway of The South" that track is almost an exact copy of the Homestead Miami Speedway. It you look at track records and an average lap time, it takes about 29-30 seconds to do a full circuit around the track, after the 'big one" that took out about half of the field Lighting McQueen had a lap lead on everyone, he was the leader and the only lead lap car, so he had about a 60 second lead total on second place with about three laps to go as he was right behind a pack of cars he was about to lap again, it was shown on the camera he also had about 3/4th of a lap lead on Hicks and Weathers, so that 60 seconds turns into about 80-85 seconds on the second place car.

Going into the final lap McQueen has a huge lead and is going into the final turn as he blew both of this tires. When both tires got damaged the still went on as Chick and Strip gained a massive amount of time and coming down to the finish line all three cars were within a hair of each other, but no one passed each other, even so the race is over, if Chick and Strip did pass Lighting they would just be put back on the lead lap but would still be some 59.999 seconds behind McQueen. Now McQueen used this tounge to cross the line, lets pretend he never did that, he would still cross the line in P1, the only difference is that both Strip and Chick would of passes him about a second sooner before McQueen crossed the line and they would keep racing and the leader (Lighting McQueen) did not take the flag yet. About a second later though Lighting would still of crossed the finish line, but this time probably with only a 57 second lead.

But that did not happen some how all three tied for p1, which is impossible to do if they were a lap down, if anything McQueen wins and a tie for p2 on the track happens, not a tie in points. In 2006 a race winner would get 185 points, second gets 170 and third gets 165. Due to the tie though each driver got 185 giving them a total of 5,198 points and that is if no bonus points were earned by leading a lap or laps.

Now there have been ties in NASCAR before, when so the officials look at most wins, most top 3s, most top5s, most top 10s and average finish position. Now Lighting McQueen wins, all three drivers came in with 9 wins and McQueen just got his 10th, there is no way around that. McQueen won the race by one lap, not to mention he led the most laps in the race to he gets 10 bonus points. Hicks and Weathers get 5 bonus points for leading a lap as well.

So the points should look like this

5208 - McQueen

5188 - Hicks

5188 - Weathers

But lets say it was a three way tie, there was a total of 400 laps in the race, only way for the tie to occur was if only those three drivers led in the race and led an equal amount of laps for the exact same amount of racing lap time (133 laps each). That is not possible though as it was shown there were at least 6 different leaders. so with that, even if there was a tie, McQueen would still win for leading most laps overall.

With all of that said Lighting McQueen won the championship, but Chick Hicks got the trophy which leads me to believe that Chick was so desperate to win that he would do whatever was possible to get the gold so he rigged the final race by paying off the officials, not to mention he is an aggressive driver and that is seen as he spun and wreaked the King Strip Weathers. At the end of the day we saw the no.86 of Chick Hicks win what was his one and only championship as McQueen crossed the line 2nd pushing the DSQ/DNF no.43 of Weathers in the tie breaker race at Auto Club.

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