Drifting is introduced to Lightning McQueen by Doc Hudson, due to the fact that the dirt oval track right outside of Radiator Springs has a turn that Lightning cannot make. At first, Lightning thinks Doc's technique is nonsense, since the old car describes it as "turning right to go left."
Later in the movie, when Lightning is trying to get a tractor to go back to the town with the others, he sees Doc in his old racing slicks. Doc then races around the first half of the course and then goes to the part where Lightning always spins out. Surprised, Lightning sees what Doc meant by his technique and sees the latter do it.
Towards the end of the movie in the last race, Chick Hicks hits McQueen so that he is on the grass. To prevent himself from stopping, McQueen uses drifting to save himself from stopping and to get himself back onto the track.
Cars: The Video Game
A mission in Cars: The Video Game involves Doc teaching Lightning how to drift. It is known as "Doc's Lesson: Powersliding."
Drifting is also seen in the first World Grand Prix race when Lightning hits the dirt portion of the track. To prevent falling behind the other racers, Mater tells Lightning to do what Doc Hudson taught him and drift.