It’s not easy being heir to the throne.
In the racing world, there’s only one King – Richard Petty. The crown is so established that it even transfers into the cartoon world. Strip “The King” Weathers was a main character in Disney Pixar’s original Cars movie. With a return to the roots of the series being a theme, Cars 3 comes back to the American racing series, and with it, the return of some old characters.
While The King is still retired in the latest installment, his nephew, Cal Weathers, is Dinoco’s new driver. And during the early stages of the movie, Cal seems to be not exactly living up to The King’s legacy, regularly losing to Lightning McQueen. Fitingly, Cal is voiced by Richard Petty’s real-life son, Kyle Petty, who was a racer himself.
This all fits fine if you’re okay with the fact that Kyle seems to be getting similar treatment in Cars 3 as he did in real life. While the son of the real King won eight races on Nascar’s top series, it pales in comparison with his dad’s record 200 wins.
All I can say is Kyle is a heck of a good sport, as he goes along with the fun poked at Cal during the movie that had to feel similar to his real-life racing career. And for what it’s worth, Kyle has never outwardly showed animosity for his life’s position.
He’s a better sport about it all than many of us would be, which allows the story to float closely to real-life Nascar lineage.