Four months later, a recovering McQueen mourns the late Doc Hudson and travels to the new Rusteze Racing Center, now under the management of Sterling (Nathan Fillion). He assigns Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) to train him on the simulator, that McQueen accidentally destroys after losing control. Cruz’s unconventional training methods and lack of racing experience angers McQueen, as they race on beaches and a demolition derby. Cruz reveals that she always wanted to be a racer but never found the confidence to do so. In Thomasville, they encounter Doc’s old crew chief Smokey (Chris Cooper) who trains McQueen and explains to him that Doc found happiness in mentoring him. Smokey’s training methods inspire Cruz as well.