Why ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ May Not be as Intrusive as ‘Formula One: Drive to Survive’?

Published 01/27/2024, 3:26 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

In just a few days, the NASCAR: Full Speed docuseries will hit the Netflix screens. The NASCAR series is expected to weave a tale centered around the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs and its protagonists. Additionally, the series will also have a five-episode run and will air just before the Clash at the Coliseum on February 4th. If you see the trailer, it looks like it is following in the footsteps of Formula One: Drive to Survive. But there are signs that the new series may not create the same controversy as DTS did in the recent past.

What led ‘Formula One: Drive to Survive’ to be intrusive?

Despite widespread acclaim and effectiveness in attracting more fans, the F1 docuseries has also had its fair share of critics. One of the biggest complaints is about DTS inventing narratives and misconstruing events. It also has a tendency to dramatize events and play certain events out of sequence. Sometimes, the series also gets a little intrusive, as the cameras also follow the drivers and team principals into their homes. It got to a stage where Red Bull star driver Max Verstappen refused to be part of the series for three seasons.


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Its new season is expected to drop in late February, and that will excite many F1 fans. In other words, the series’ new season will release, just before the 2024 Formula One season begins. Last year, Verstappen was insanely dominant, winning nearly every race in the season. Now, the big question is: Will the series use its usual antics to bring excitement into the portrayal of a season that was rather considered dull by many?

WATCH THIS STORY: NASCAR Might Have Just Saved Themselves With the $7.7 Billion Media Rights Deal

Will NASCAR: Full Speed avoid its F1 counterpart’s mistakes?


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In a recent promotional video, Ross Chastain spoke about the docuseries’ approach. He told NASCAR, “I think they’ll see that we do anything that takes. I’m all in, so whenever I met the group that was going to do it and travel with us and really capture it, it felt different than other times. It made it great. I sat down at Waffle House with the producer, cameraman, sound guy. Just us four, no cameras, just us. That doesn’t happen. I don’t show everything I do, of my world. I don’t have to document my life, just to show my highlight reel. They got the stuff.”


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In this case, it seems Netflix does not truly need to fabricate any drama. The sport is already full of incredible storylines and personalities. Additionally, Netflix is filming at a stage where the competition is really getting serious. This is because the Playoffs separate the championship contenders from the rest of the pack. Then in an elimination-style format, the challengers are whittled down, until four drivers face off in the season finale.


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‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ Needs to Avoid the Mistakes ‘Drive to Survive’ Made, to Keep Its Fanbase

Some fan-favorite drivers will also be featured in the series, including eventual champion Ryan Blaney. Other drivers include Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and William Byron. Even the likes of Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and many more will make an appearance. Of course, there are some key names missing, but the series is limited to 5 episodes. The bright side is that they could feature if the series takes off successfully and it gets a second season.


Written by:

Dhruv George


One take at a time

Growing up as a Formula One fan, I was always vaguely aware that there was a sport called NASCAR. But when I actually got to know more about it, it didn't take me long to get hooked. My closest encounter with NASCAR was back in 2009 when my family took a picture of me next to one of Dale Earnhardt Jr?s cars.
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