Insider Ranks NASCAR: Full Speed Over F1’s Drive to Survive With Shocking Verdict, Commends Drivers Unfiltered Netflix Access

Published 01/31/2024, 4:48 AM EST

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Netflix’s NASCAR: Full Speed Series is finally here! But with its arrival, many fans have been wondering if the series is worth the watch. After all, the previous content that has come from NASCAR along similar lines hasn’t really hit the mark. And while fans were sceptical of the way Netflix would approach our beloved sport, it’s safe to say the reviews coming in have been overwhelmingly positive.

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In the latest episode of Denny Hamlin’s Action Detrimental podcast, the major star of the series sat down with NASCAR insiders Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi, asking them what they thought of the series. And to the relief of many, the review from Gluck seems fairly positive!

Feel like you’re on the inside of it: Jeff Gluck

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When Netflix announced NASCAR: Full Speed, the community was split into two, with one side questioning if the show would be overdramatized like Drive to Survive in some parts while others believed it would be nothing but good for the sport. But after the release, it seems like that divide will soon be repaired, with a majority shifting toward liking what they see. And the case was fairly similar for Gluck.

The insider shared, “I kind of went in kind of skeptical about it, cus I feel like there have been shows like the USA show, there was all this build-up for it and you’re like, is it really gonna be good? Is it really gonna be the Drive to Survive that NASCAR wants and needs?” So while content like NASCAR 360 and others failed to deliver what fans wanted, Gluck felt the formula for Full Speed needed to be different. And so it was.

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He added, “This (Full Speed) show, I think might be the greatest NASCAR content or up there. Definitely the best NASCAR documentary series, I was thoroughly impressed. Like the access that was given by the drivers. I mean, you were in the motorhome with the people in the heartbreaking moments.” Gluck shared a moment from the show after Martinsville when Hamlin had an emotional interaction with his daughter, using it as an example to show the kind of raw insight the show provided.

He went on to express, “It’s like you were in there. Christopher Bell is eliminated from the Championship race and goes to his motorhome and wife is crying and the camera follows him in. You don’t see a moment where the drivers are like, ‘No, not right now’. Like it, you feel like you’re on the inside of it. I just feel like it was the most authentic and realistic reflection I’ve seen of NASCAR.”

Since Gluck is an insider with evident access to the driver personalities featured in Netflix’s Full Speed, he could reflect on the difference between their reel attitude and their real attitude and felt there was little difference. He concluded, “So the way it’s presented, you heard all this stuff from F1 last year like, Oh they over-sensationalise it and they over dramatic’, but this I felt like, no, it was accurate. From what I could tell.”

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For fans looking for a Full Speed review, who better to trust than the man with real-life experiences with the drivers both on and off the track? And even still, once we take a look at what the community had, it’s safe to say the majority agree.

The NASCAR community chimes in to share their thoughts on NASCAR: Full-Speed

Taking to X, Gluck shared a tweet with the community, asking them about the new docu-series. While Gluck was fairly optimistic himself, the insider wanted to put the show to the ultimate test. He shared, “OK, give me your initial thoughts on “Full Speed” so far. Do you love it as much as I do, or am I being overenthusiastic?” And soon enough, the results were in.

It seems like to the docuseries was an instant hit with fans just like it was with Gluck. One user shared their two cents, “I’m 2 episodes in and I love it! I always hear the Drive to Survive is over-dramatized but I don’t see that in the NASCAR series. I feel like it hits a nice balance of behind the scenes and the actual racing.” Another fan added, “Loved it, need another season with more episodes.”

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While it’s safe to say the bar has clearly been set high, another user felt the series had far more potential; “It’s good but I expected a bit more from it. It’s way too many Byron/Blaney scenes in it, there were more drivers in the Playoffs 🤷‍♂ And it should show more exciting moments.”

On the other hand, fans with a good ear also picked up on the sound production. A user tweeted, “The soundtrack is on point and I mean ON POINT.” As another chimed in, ”Ending of the Martinsville episode was perfect music selection. But I agree 100% soundtrack was amazing.”

Fans were also receptive to the way Netflix approached the series to showcase authenticity. Another user summed up the storytelling aspect, “In episode one. Somewhat surprised the lack of a filter. Like it. Also, it’s not oversimplified or underappreciating the fan that knows the story. It’s what I hoped for so far.”

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So with the reviews pouring in and claiming Netflix: Full Speed to be the best piece of NASCAR content in recent memory, will you be tuning in?

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Written by:

Kabir Bajaj Ahmed

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Kabir Bajaj Ahmed is an F1 & NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. Known for his storytelling and extensive research skills, he has covered multiple stories on Dale Earnhard Jr and his legendary dad, allowing readers to relive the thunderous days of 'The Intimidator'. Being a racer himself, Kabir can resonate with the motorsport world better than most.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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