Hello and welcome to my first ever fanfic. Please read and review, I love reviews, I want to hear from you, even if you hate it! But I hope you like it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Cars characters. I am merely borrowing them. This story is a much expanded version of my flash fiction story "The Driver" which was published in AnotherRealm webzine a few months ago.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Latin. " So passes the glory of the world" - commonly translated as "Fame is Fleeting"

It was morning. Chick Hicks awoke from a troubled sleep in his heated garage. He was not a happy car. It has been a long, lonely night, one in a seemingly endless string of long, lonely nights. As he shook off sleep, he replayed the final lap of the Piston Cup over in his mind. He remembered the satisfaction he'd felt slamming into The King, sending him flying, then the pure joy of crossing that finish line first. Finally, he had fulfilled his lifelong dream. It had been the happiest few seconds of his life. He was finally out of the King's shadow, ready to bask in the adoration of his fans.

Then it all fell apart. He'd triumphantly driven out to receive his rightful fame and fortune and had been met with boos and jeers. All because that miserable Lightning had won over the crowd by pushing a battered King across the finish line. It was bad enough being upstaged by a rookie. It was even worse that the crash had again put the King in the limelight. The crowd loved Strip Weathers, and Chick had made him a martyr.

Even though he'd beaten him, the King still had all the glory, all the sympathy. It sickened Chick. It sickened him to the core of his being.

He had become an outcast. Dinaco didn't want him. The fans didn't want him. When he'd inquired about the sponsorship, Tex had been cold and evasive. He had put Chick off. And put him off. Chick knew that Tex didn't want to endorse him and was trying to come up with a way out. Had he already approached Lightning? Was he eyeing one of the other rookies? These questions kept Chick up at night.

He was, he thought, at the low point of his career. Things couldn't get any worse.

He was wrong.