‘Drive to Survive,’ But NASCAR: Netflix’s ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ Docuseries Premiers Jan. 30
NASCAR is getting its second feature series in recent years with Netflix’s “NASCAR: Full Speed” debuting Jan. 30 on the streaming service. The series includes five, 45-minute episodes highlighting the action of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Nine of the sport’s top drivers are featured. They include eventual champion Ryan Blaney and William Byron, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano and Tyler Reddick.
The docuseries premiers the same week NASCAR returns to competition with the 2024 iteration of the Clash at the Coliseum. The pre-season event debuted in 2022 with a non-championship race inside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in which the traditional football field is replaced by a 0.25-mile oval short track.
Netflix hasn’t given much insight into the finer details of the show but previously announced it will feature “exclusive access to drivers and teams,” including behind the proverbial curtain coverage on and off the track. The company released a one-minute teaser recently, which underscores the “badass” element of NASCAR drivers and competition.
The series should feature in-depth behind-the-scenes coverage of drivers according to comments made by Denny Hamlin late last year on the Dale Jr. Download podcast.
“I was very simple with (Netflix), you get… every access you want until I say no,” Hamlin said. “When it comes from in the car, on the car, through the fans, into the bus, short of me going to the bathroom, I mean, whatever you want, you get it until I say ‘No.’ And they never put me, in my opinion, in a place where I was uncomfortable with them. So, I just gave them all the access they needed.”
The teaser appears to reveal the series will feature some elements leading up to the Playoffs as well. Ross Chastain can be seen punching Noah Gragson in the teaser. The incident took place following the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway last May. Ryan Preece’s harrowing accident at the 2023 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona, in which Preece’s No. 41 Ford Mustang flipped nearly a dozen times after he was spun on the backstretch, is also shown.
NASCAR: Full Speed is the second major docuseries covering the NASCAR season in the last three years. USA Network’s “Race for the Championship” highlighted the 2022 NASCAR season from the leadup to the Daytona 500 through the penultimate race of the season. Several championship-contending drivers were profiled in the series, including eventual title-winner Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and others.
Netflix’s Drive to Survive, another racing docuseries highlighting the Formula One season, is expected to debut its sixth season later this winter.