Cars 3 Pays Homage To First Black NASCAR Driver

Cars 3 is on its way, and it looks to be a doozy of a film. The teaser trailer opens up with what looks like a fatal accident with the protagonist, Lightning McQueen, crashing horribly.

It’s the kind of crash that would make the 2015 car insurance claim average of $3,350 look paltry in comparison. Of course, the average auto owner isn’t flying through the air at over a hundred miles an hour and rolling along a racetrack.

The crash is all information the viewer received regarding the film, causing many to wonder what exactly the theme of the latest Cars movie could be. But recently, we’ve gotten a few looks at what’s coming our way.

The newest movie in the franchise brings back much of the familiar cast of the older movies and a few new characters, including one that stood out. There have been a great many African-American voice actors in Hollywood — Idris Elba for instance, who voiced Chief Bogo in the Academy Award winning film Zootopia — but not a great deal of homage has been paid to famous African-Americans in animated movies.

River Scott in Cars 3 can be added to both those numbers.

Actor Isiah Whitlock Jr provides the voice of this character, who is based on Wendall Scott, the first African-American driver NASCAR driver to compete in the sport, win the Grand National Series, and be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In his long history of racing on the Grand National circuit, he achieved one win and 147 top 10 finishes out of his 495 Grand National starts.

The introduction of this character marks an increase in diversity amongst the Cars cast and honors Black history by giving homage to one of the African-American community’s less popularized athletes.

Little is known about the movie or the role that River Scott will play, outside of a few clips and teasers. The film releases on June 16 of this year.

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