NASCAR Races to Netflix for Its Own Version of F1’s Drive to Survive

Netflix/Word + Pictures/Nascar Studios

If you loved Netflix’s Drive to Survive, buckle up for another high-speed Netflix docuseries, called NASCAR: Full Speed.

The five-episode docuseries, which premieres on Netflix on January 30th, will follow last year’s 16 playoff drivers as they race toward the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Each episode will be 45 minutes in length. A trailer for the new film debuted earlier this week, providing a sneak peek into the drama captured during the last season’s on- and off-track action.

According to NASCAR, the documentary “will bring fans behind the scenes, exploring the physical and emotional challenges of competing for a championship at the top level of stock car racing.”

Before you pass NASCAR: Full Speed off as a cheap copy of Drive to Survive, know that this effort has some serious horsepower—and cred—under the hood. The production studio Words + Pictures created this series. If that sounds familiar, these are the same people who created The Last Dance, a ten-part documentary that focuses on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls, and the 2017 Academy Award-winning O.J.: Made in America. Retired NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. also joins as executive producer.

The documentary comes at a time of great sea change. “NASCAR has kicked down the door to an entirely new era recently—with new tracks, cars, team owners, and stars combining to deliver some of the best competition the sport has ever seen,” says NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Tim Clark. “Now is the perfect time to introduce people to the characters, competition, and chaos that make NASCAR so compelling while still giving our most passionate fans plenty of new insights into their favorite teams and drivers.”

The last big NASCAR film series to hit screens came in the fall of 2022, when the USA Network premiered a 10-episode series, Race for the Championship. Last year, IndyCar launched also its docuseries titled 100 Days to Indy on the CW. Both seemed like rather ambitious efforts with plenty of compelling behind-the-scenes drama, but neither took America by storm in the same way that Drive to Survive did back in 2019.

A Netflix property, given the app’s 247 million-plus users and cultural influence, has plenty of promise to make any series a touchstone overnight, from Tiger King to Squid Games. Will NASCAR be the next trendy docu-series to dominate water cooler chat and incite massive FOMO? Only time will tell.

Will you tune in?

Netflix Nascar Full Speed TV Series Poster
Netflix/Word + Pictures/Nascar Studios




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