The title of the comic book was 'Wacky Raceland", and the characters were all coerced into participating in the race...or else they would die. NOT winning the final race would result in death, also.
The storyline was based on the notion that life on Earth as we knew it, was ending...except for a mythical place called 'Utopia'. The racers were each offered the chance to race, just after they suffered a near-death experience (themselves, or in the case of 'Dick Dastardly', their family. Winning would rseult in a trip to Utopia, and a restoration of dead familymenbers.
Found the first two issues in a bookstore that was closing. Didn't find the others. Each issue had a race segment showing the racers coping with the challenges of that stage, and an origin story of a competitor. Issue #1 featured the origin of 'Penelope Pitstop (her Porsche Boxster was washed off a highway by a tidal wave), and the second issue worked the origin of Dick Dastardly (formerly known as classical composer/orchestra leader Richard D'Astardine, who witnessed the death of his wife and son from a nuclear blast outside the San Francisco Opera House) into the race's San Francisco stage, and had the origins of the 'Arkansas Chug-a-Bugs' (two drunk 20-somethings attacked by a mutated bear in the forest).
The rest of the competitors were also fleshed out in each issue's race coverage.