In the third Cars film, the once legendary Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson) has lost much of his zing, and with new blazing fast cars zooming past him, McQueen finds himself cast aside in the sport that he once dominated. Desperate to get back into the thick of things, McQueen turns to Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), an eager young technician who has her own plans for winning. Director Brian Fee chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about the new additions to the franchise. He said, “We’re introducing some fun and really appealing characters in Cars 3, so we really wanted to find the right voices to help us breathe life into them.”

So how does Black history fit into all of this? Isiah Whitlock, Jr. is joining the cast as the trailblazer, River Scott. Based on Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver in NASCAR. Scott was also the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR’s highest level.

Kerry Washington is also lending her voice to Cars 3. Described as a “super-smarty-pants statistician” Washington will play Natalie Certain, a highly respected analyst who excels in her ability to evaluate a racer’s statistics, but she could be underestimating the importance of determination.

Whitlock told The Knockturnal that fans of Disney’s Cars are in for a real treat with Cars 3. He said,

“I think they will take away drive, determination, and perseverance. That will be a huge message with this movie. They will also take away the fact that you will not be young forever, and you need to be ready for that transformation. And accept it. There’s nothing wrong with that. We put such an attention on that, but there’s nothing wrong with it. There is life after racing. You’ve just got to pretty much find out who you are, your spirit, and what’s in your heart. And I think a lot of young people will begin to see that. I think that will be one of the beautiful messages of this movie.”

Buckle up! Cars 3 will race to theaters on June 16.