|Performer:||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.|
"Racing sensation Dale Jr. has wasted no time gathering victories and creating a commanding track presence since winning Piston Cup Rookie of the Year honors in 2000. His drive and charisma have scored with fans too -- he's earned The Piston Cup Most Popular Driver award four years running! But when it's all said and done he's just a shy guy, who enjoys quiet time with his friends and family."
In the film, Dale is first seen during the race at the Motor Speedway of the South, as one of the competitors. He is later seen in an interview about Lightning McQueen reported missing, and again at the final race, wishing The King good luck.
- According to Car Finder, Junior is an Axxelo Fission, which is identical to the NASCAR Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.
- Junior is based on, named after and voiced by the real life NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Junior is also based on the paint scheme of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Earnhardt, Jr. drove in his Sprint Cup debut from 1999 through the end of 2007 at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., though with the DEI (Dale Earnhardt, Inc.) logos instead to prevent controversy over the product placement of alcohol in a G-rated film. In 2008, a year and a half after Cars came out, Earnhardt, Jr. moved to the #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew/AMP Energy Chevrolet SS at Hendrick Motorsports.
- "I just hope Lightning's OK. I sure would hate to see anything bad happen to him."
- —Junior's worries about Lightning McQueen
- Junior: "Hey, King! Good luck in your last race. You've sure been an inspiration to me."
The King: "Thanks, Junior. Appreciate it."
- —Junior and The King, before the tie-breaking race
- Junior: "Wow. Unbelievable. That many wins in a single season."
The King: "He's the real deal, Junior. The Hudson Hornet was my inspiration."
- —Junior and The King
- ↑ "Car Finder" (supplementary material on Blu-ray Disc release of Cars). 2007. Blu-ray Disc. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2007.