When Brehanna Daniels walked onto pit road at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon she was also taking another step into NASCAR history.
"You don't usually see people that look like me here," Daniels, 24, said.
Daniels is thought to be the first African American female tire changer ever in the sport.
"It's still crazy to think about," Daniels said.
The 5-foot-5 former Norfolk University point guard is slowly transitioning from life on the court to life on the track.
"I feel like the more I do it the more it's growing on me," Daniels said.
Daniels career as a rear tire changer started when she joined NASCAR's Drive For Diversity Pit Crew Development Program that is a training program for aspiring minority and female pit crew members.
Daniels checks both boxes.
She credits the program's pit crew coach Phil Horton for helping her prepare for the incredibly important role she plays during races.
"He told me to never get frustrated because you know there are times when I want to be hard on myself and get down but you have to be patient," Daniels said.
Daniels was in town for the Lucas Oil 200 Automobile Racing Club of America race in Daytona for the number 34 car driven by Jesse Iwuji of Carrollton, Texas.
"Cool dude," Daniels said with a laugh.
Not all pit crews work together all the time and Daniels said people are usually surprised when she introduces herself before a race.
"They really don't know who I am until I tell them. They think I'm just like a person walking around here," Daniels said.
Daniels never watched NASCAR much before trying out for the program that puts participants through physical conditioning and mechanics training.
"It requires a lot of athleticism. That's why having an athletic background is very helpful," Daniels said.
An hour before the race started, Daniels put on her uniform which includes a fire suit, gloves and helmet.
"It's pretty warm," Daniels said.
As crews pushed their cars onto the track, Daniels' team prepped their equipment.
As soon as the national anthem ended, they were ready.
The cars took off and the sounds of fans cheering were barely audible over the engines.
About 10 minutes into the race, Iwuji gives the signal that he's making a pit stop.
Daniels and her teammates jump over the wall separating the track and their equipment and inspect the racecar.
No need to change the tires just yet.
A man holding a large Sunoco gas can filled the car with fuel. Seconds later the number 34 car was skidding away to join the others back on the track.
The team started to watch the race on the large TV screen behind them.
Several more minutes went by and everything seemed to be going well.
Iwuji headed back to the pit for some more gas and another inspection. Daniels jumped over the wall and checked the tires a second time.
They still looked good.
But this time the man holding the gas can ran into trouble. Gas spilled out of the long spout and onto the road. He readjusted but it was no help. The driver headed out again.
Nearly everyone's face turned from calm to concerned.
Another few laps and Iwuji was back in the pit. This time Daniels and four other team members were looking under the hood. There was a problem with the engine and they couldn't fix it in time.
Daniels didn't have a chance to change the tires.
As the race continued on, Iwuji got out of the car and jumped over the wall. Daniels and the crew push the car back to the garage.
"Some things we can't control during the race," Daniels said. "You can only learn."
Despite this disappointing showing, Daniels said she's hopeful for her future in the sport and wants to inspire young girls to achieve their dreams.
"I am that example for them that they can do anything that they put their mind to," Daniels said.
Daniels will be returning to Daytona next weekend to work again but doesn't know which driver she is working with yet.