With BET's premiere of Changing Lanes , a reality show that follows this year's Drive for Diversity drivers as they look for their break into racing, SI.com looks at how the sport has diversified over the years. First up is Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia, who became the first former Formula One racer to compete full-time in NASCAR. The 2000 Indy 500 champion has won two Sprint Cup races since his 2006 debut. (Send comments to email@example.com)
2 of 22Bennett Raglin/WireImage
Three-time Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves won the famed race in consecutive years (2001, 2002) and most recently took the top prize in 2010. The Brazilian driver gained mainstream notoriety after appearing on Dancing with the Stars in 2007.
3 of 22
In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in a Winston Cup race, only to follow up that milestone becoming the first woman to compete in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500.
4 of 22Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
Bill Lester became the first African-American to compete in Nationwide Series race when he made his NASCAR debut in 1999. He also became the first Black driver to compete in the Sprint Cup in 20 years when he raced in 2006.
5 of 22Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton became the first Formula One driver of African-Canadian heritage to compete in the sport. He also became the first Black driver to win a F1 event in his Canadian Grand Prix victory in 2007.
6 of 22Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Venezuelan-born Milka Duno became the first Latina to race in the Indy 500 in 2007.
7 of 22Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
Marc Davis, one of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity's most well-known graduates, parlayed his knowledge of the sport into creating his own team.
8 of 22Darrell Ingham/Getty Images
In 2002, Hideo Fukuyama made his Winston Cup debut and became the first Japanese driver to compete in NASCAR. His career would be short-lived after Travis Carter Motorsports shut its doors.
9 of 22Fred Vuich/SI
Brazil's Ana Beatriz became the first woman to win an Indy Light Series race after taking the checkers at Nashville Superspeedway in 2008.
10 of 22Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Born to a Hawaiian mother and German father, Leilani Munter has raced in both NASCAR and IndyCar, becoming only the fourth woman to race in the Indy Pro Series. She has also worked as a photo double/stunt driver for actress Catherine Zeta Jones.
11 of 22Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Brazil native Tony Kanaan has authored 14 wins in the IndyCar Series since 2003. Kanaan is of Lebanese descent.
12 of 22Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Japanese Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi made his debut in October 2009 at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Later that year, Kobayashi scored his first F/1 points with sixth place at Abu Dhabi.
13 of 22Joe Robbins/Getty Images for NASCAR
The only woman to compete full time in the Trucks Series, Erin Crocker also raced in the ARCA RE/MAX and Busch Series. She would late marry Former team owner Ray Evernham.
14 of 22Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR
Earnhardt-Ganassi driver Aric Almirola has raced in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks series, amassing three career wins. Almirola is of Cuban descent.
15 of 22Robert Laberge /Allsport
In 1986, Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver to compete in NASCAR's Winston Cup. He gained further noteriety after teaming up with comedian Bill Cosby in the CART series.
16 of 22Ben Hider/Getty Images
IndyCar driver and team owner Sarah Fisher became the youngest woman to compete in an IRL race at the age of 19.
17 of 22Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR
Mexican-American developmental driver Jesus Hernandez was a member of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity class in 2005. That year, he has one top-5 and six top-10 finishes.
18 of 22Ben Hider/Getty Images
In 2008 at the Indy Japan 300, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy 500 race. She would also go on to become the highest finishing female in the Indy 500, coming in third place.
19 of 22Richard Mackson/SI
'First Lady of Drag Racing' Shirley Muldowney became one of the sports' most successful drivers, notching an impressive 18 National wins in her 18 year career.
20 of 22ISC Archives via Getty Images
On Dec. 1, 1963, Wendell Scott became the first and only African-American driver to win a Nextel Cup Series event.
21 of 22ANN MILLER CARR/AFP/Getty Images
George Mack became the second African-American to race in the Indy 500 when he competed in 2002.
22 of 22John Pyle/Icon SMI
Driver and Wheaton College grad Hillary Will became the fastest woman in NHRA history, clocking a speed of 334.65 mph speed at Pomona 1.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!