After a long wait, Lightning McQueen is finally speeding his way back to the big screen in Disney’s new animated film, “Cars 3.”

“Cars” fans only saw a grim teaser trailer back in November with everybody’s favorite pro racer Lightning (voiced once again by Owen Wilson) encountering a disastrous brush during an intense race.

First-time Pixar director Brian Fee told Entertainment Weekly that Lightning has aged significantly since his last film, so his racing skills aren’t what it used to be. “McQueen is not the young hotshot anymore, the kid he was back then in Cars 1,” he said. “He’s in the middle of his life, and as an athlete, that’s getting up there. You have your whole life ahead of you, yet your career is starting to show its age. He’s looking in the mirror and realizing, ‘I’m 40 years old,’ and dealing with the fact that the thing that you love more than anything else, you might not be able to do forever.”

It does not help that a group of new generation racers have surfaced such as the villainous Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer).

Fee said that unlike Lightning, Jackson was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so everything comes easily for him. “He thinks the world is his. He’s taking over. He’s owed it,” said Fee. “He thinks the future of racing and the high-tech ways they train and what they can do means they’re taking the sport to a new level, and the older guys had their day, and it’s done, and they have no place in the future of racing.”

But Lightning is not through yet. With the help of another new character named Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), Lightning will learn how to adjust to new trends and techniques. She’s a huge fan of Lightning even though she’s on Jackson’s side of the age gap, and she becomes his new racing coach.

“Whereas others like Jackson would look at McQueen and dump him, Cruz isn’t like that at all. She’s the most optimistic person in the world and wants to do anything to help,” said Fee.

“Cars 3” will be released on June 16.

Owen Wilson
Owen Wilson will once again voice Lightning McQueen in “Cars 3.” In this photo, the actorarrives at the world premiere of Disney Pixar's computer animated film “Cars” at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 26, 2006. Reuters/Davis Turner