The Racetrack OASIS appears as one of the challenges needs to be complete in a search for three keys that will unlock the Easter Egg gates.
The prize if you win this Race is the Copper Key, while the challenge in the book was completing Joust arcade, but in the film, the challenge replaced by a race.
In the movie, according to Parzival, some long-forgotten gunter deciphered the clue to the first challenge which is a race through New York City to Central Park. However, the racetrack comes with many perils which include traps crossing the bridge to New York, ramps which lead backwards or leading to crashing, a semi-truck who gets caught in the middle of the race track, wrecking balls hitting drivers, a T-rex and King Kong.
Even if a player manages to get past everything else, no one has ever managed to beat King Kong and he appears to be unbeatable as a rule.
In the first attempt, Parzival, Aech and Art3mis almost make it, but ended up like the rest. Most of the cars where ones by IOI, but many pop culture cars did not make it in the process. For example, KITT and the Formula 1 cars possibly caught up on the bridge traps. The GMC Vandura from the A-Team was caught on a fenced lane which took the cars into a backwards lane making them crash. The Mach Five possibly wrecked after jumping the Hot-Wheels-like ramps, and the Ford Interceptor and Christine were hit by the wrecking balls, and the Batmobile was pushed by Aech after King Kong demolished the bridge in front of them.
Parzival crashes after King Kong demolishes the road in front of him leading to the finishing line. Parzival soon rescues Art3mis from being crushed by the hands of King Kong, before taking her to Aech's shop to work on her now destroyed bike.
After an argument with Art3mis, Wade visits a scene in Halliday's Journals where James Halliday argues with Ogden Morrow over the OASIS and Halliday's hatred for making rules. The scene contains the clue to beating the race: Halliday states that he wishes they could go backwards for once really fast, "real pedal to the medal."
After finding the clue, Parzival races his DeLorean backwards during the next race. An underground tunnel opens near the rear wall and Parzival is able to safely race through it backwards under all of the obstacles to emerge beyond King Kong near the finish line in Central Park. In doing so, Parzival gets Copper Key and wins the first challenge.
Subsequently, Art3mis, who witnessed Parzival take off backwards, also completes the race. She is followed by Aech who is tipped off by Parzival, Daito who is tipped off by Aech and Sho who is tipped off by Daito.
The following are references of the various vehicles seen in the race.
- DeLorean from Back to the Future (piloted by Parzival)
- Bigfoot monster truck (piloted by Aech)
- Kaneda's bike from Akira (piloted by Art3mis)
- Batmobile (1966 Version) from Batman
- Ford Interceptor (Pursuit Special) from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
- Plymouth Fury (Christine) from Christine
- GMC Vandura from The A-Team
- Mach 5 from Speed Racer
- KITT from Knight Rider
- Formula One Cars from Pole Position
Amongst them are the drivers or characters that appear at the racetrack.
- Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
- Dizzy Wallin from Gears of War (drives Christine)
- Ryu from Street Fighter
- Elite from Halo (drives the A-Team Van)
- Concept art of the racetrack shows more cars than IOI cars, some of which include a blue Formula 1 car, a Spinner from Blade Runner, Herbie the living Volkswagen Beetle, the Dark Knight variant of the Batmobile, James Dean's infamous Little Bastard Porsche, a yellow vehicle that resembles (or possibly) a Plymouth Prowler, and a number 41 NASCAR vehicle.
- At one point, IOI cars were gonna be Formula 1 cars instead of stock cars.