Hamilton not only became Formula One's first black driver this season, but also quickly became the first rookie in six seasons to win a F1 race when he took the Canadian Grand Prix on June 10.
Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap at Indy in the 2005 Indianapolis 500. That year she was the Rookie of the Year for both the 500 and the entire season. Her third-place finish last Sunday at Texas was the best of her career.
Scott is the only minority to win a NASCAR race, coming in first in a 1963 event in Jacksonville, Fla. Scott made almost 500 career starts in a decade.
Lyn St. James
St. James was the second woman to race in the Indy 500 and the first to win rookie of the year when she finished 11th in 1992. She raced at Indy seven times.
In 1999, Lester became the first black to race in the Busch Series, and in 2006, he became the first to start a Nextel Cup race. Inbetween he was a regular in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series.
Muldowney, the "First Lady of Drag Racing," was the first woman to receive a license from the NHRA to drive a Top Fuel dragster. She then became the first women to be a big winner on a major auto racing circuit when she won NHRA titles in 1977, 1980 and 1982.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Montoya became the first F1 driver to jump to NASCAR in the prime of his career. He is also one of the first Hispanics to have a regular ride in the Nextel Cup Series.
Ashley, the daughter of drag racing legend John Force, is one of the first women to drive a Funny Car on the NHRA circuit. In April, she became the first woman to reach the Funny Car semifinals, winning the first-ever NHRA father vs. daughter match in the first round.
Fisher was the first woman to race full-time on an Indy-style circuit. She became the first woman to win the pole in a major auto racing series at Kentucky Speedway in 2002. Her second at Homestead-Miami Speedway is the best finish by a woman in an Indy-style race.
Willy T. Ribbs
In 1991, Ribbs became the first black driver to qualify for the Indianpolis 500. In 1986, he drove in three Winston Cup races. In 2001, Ribbs became the first black in NASCAR's Modern Era to have a full-time ride when he drove a Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series.
Guthrie nearly became the first woman astronaut. Instead, she became the first woman to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. In 1977, Guthrie became the only woman ever to compete full time on NASCAR's top circuit.
Smith raced modifieds at local tracks before she entered 11 NASCAR races in 1949 and 1950. A fan favorite because of hard-charging style, she won 38 modified races in 11 seasons.