*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Viperchick who calls it... "A great movie for the kids! Adults will find it fun too."
The movie starts with Lightning McQueen, the rookie, in his transport truck getting ready for the race for the Piston Cup. He's very confident about himself.
The race starts and he's up against The King, who is a champion of the Piston Cup and Chick Hicks, the car who thinks it's his turn this year to win.
The race is very exciting and Lightning McQueen surprises everyone by being in front. However, he does not listen when the pit staff tell him to pull over and change his tyres. He's about to win the race when his rear left tire blows and then the rear right. He ends up bouncing to get to the finish line, in hot pursuit with Chick Hicks and The King. In the end, it's a tie and they have to go to California to compete for the title. Chick Hicks says that he'll be the first one to get there and Lightning McQueen responds by saying he'll be first.
Lightning McQueen insults his pit crew by saying he doesn't need anyone else and they quit. Then, in order to get to his transport truck (Mack), he has to say hello to his sponsors, Rust-Eze, and he's not happy as the cars are rusty and he's very shiny, new and confident. They say that when they get more money they'll get him some headlights (he only has stickers).
He finally pleases his sponsors and is on his way to California. He talks to his agent who tells him that he can invite his friends to some party. Lightning does not have any friends.
On the way, Mack wants to take a break and nap but Lightning says no, he'll stay up with him. Lightning ends up falling asleep and so does Mack. A toy falls down onto the rear door and opens it and Lightning starts to roll out of the truck. Some hulligans wake Mack up and he moves forward, with Lightning ending up on the road with cars going at him from the opposite direction.
He ends up turning around and chasing after Mack, but cannot find him. He sees him in the distance and when he catches up, it's not Mack. He's lost and ends up driving into a very old town, Radiator Springs, wrapping himself in some wire and dragging a steel statue of the town's founder into the road, breaking the road apart. He's arrested by the Sheriff and put in the holding yard.
There he meets Mater, a rusty towing truck, and wakes up with a clamp on his wheel. He gets sent to Court, facing Doc Hudson, who tells him that he just has to leave town and charges are dropped.
Sally, the Porche, on whom Lightning tries to make a pass on, comes in and puts a good case towards making Lightning fix the road. Doc has to agree and the sentence is passed - Lightning has to fix the road before he can leave. As Mater takes off the clamp to attach him to the concreting machine, Lightning speeds off, only to find that his tank has been syphoned and he doesn't have enough gas to leave town. So, the concreting machine gets put on and he gets asphalt on him, feeling like he shouldn't be there.
After pulling the concrete machine so fast so that he can finish the road, the road is patchy and Doc offers a deal - if Lightning races him and wins, Doc will fix the road, if he doesn't Lightning will. Lightning agrees and they race, but Lightning loses control when turning and falls into cacti, being dragged out by Mater.
So, Lightning has to tear up the concreting done so far and re-do it all. Whilst working, he meets Luigi who sells tyres and loves racing cars but only Ferraris in Europe, Guido his tyre fitter, Fillmore the hippy who lives next to Sarge the army car, Ramone who does paint jobs for cars and his girl Flo who has the service station. Sally has a hotel and Doc fixes the cars.
After the loss, Lightning ends up doing a great job on a part of the road and Mater takes him to tipping the tractors (very funny). Mater calls Lightning his best friend and when they return Sally has softened up to Lightning as well.
Whilst practising to get the turn right and not end up in cacti, Doc tells Lightning to turn right to go left and that lands Lightning into cacti again.
In the outside world, Lightning is missing and he's a big story in the papers.
Sally takes Lightning up for a drive and he looks around and likes the scenery. She explains that the town is pretty run down as it was once on Route 66 and lots of travellers went through it. Since the new interstate road was put it, it bypassed Radiator Springs and no-one drives near the town. It's obvious that she likes him and he likes her.
When they come back to the town, he goes to see Doc and ends up in the forbidden part of the garage when he finds out that Doc was a very famous racing car and won the Piston Cup for many years, until one year he crashed and disappeared.
Later Lightning sees Doc do the turn as tried to instruct Lightning.
As the road is finished and looks great, all the other town members start fixing up their business. Lightning ends up being good friends with them, buys white tyres from Luigi, gets a new paint job from Ramone, does the lights for the whole town and it's looking great.
All of a sudden, customers start arriving, but it's the camera crew and press, finding Lightning. He's ushered into Mack's cabin and taken to California. Mater is sad because he didn't say goodbye and Sally finds out that Doc was the one who called the press.
It's the day of the big race and Lightning is all by himself - no pit crew nor (cannot remember official term) coach. Mack is there to help him and Lightning starts prepping up for the race.
It's between him, Chick Hicks and The King. Lightning ends up losing will to win when he hears Doc on the radio as his coach. Mater, Luigi and Guido are there to support him, with Guido being the one-forklift pit crew. All the other pit crews laugh at him.
Lightning listens to what Doc says and comes into the pit, Guido does a great job and all the other pit crews are shocked (so funny).
Lightning goes back on the track, catches up to the other two and it's the last lap. Lightning saves himself after going on the green by the move that Doc taught him (to turn left, move wheels right) and drives backwards like Mater taught him. Chick Hicks, being a meanie as he is, pushes The King off and The King crashes.
Lightning is about to win the race when he sees The King. He stops just before the flag and Chick wins. Lightning goes to The King and pushes him over the line, so that The King finishes the race and comes in second.
Even though he didn't win The King's prestigious rich sponsor offers the sponsorship to Lightning as The King's retiring. Chick, even though he won, is booed off the stage.
Lightning says thanks to The King's sponsor, but he'll stick with the rusty sponsors he has as they stuck with him. But, he asks for a favour - which is that The King's sponsor's helicopter give Mater a ride as that's the biggest dream Mater has.
Well, Lightning ends up getting all his contacts and everyone to visit Radiator Springs. A famous Ferrari European driver comes into Luigi's store and Luigi passes out. The town is on the map again.
Lightning ends up opening a racing base at Radiator Springs and ends up with Sally.
All of the Radiator Springs residents are doing what they enjoy and the movie ends.