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“Way More Dramatic” – Kyle Larson Sparks Interest With $167.33 Billion Production House as NASCAR Hoping to Hop on the Trend

Published 10/01/2023, 4:58 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

In a quest to rev up its viewership, NASCAR is shifting gears by embracing the culture of docu-series. Following the tire tracks of Formula 1’s phenomenal success with Drive to Survive, NASCAR has struck a partnership with the colossal $167.33 billion production powerhouse, Netflix. Together, they’re aiming to hit the fast lane to success by releasing a documentary chronicling the adrenaline-fueled world of NASCAR.

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This isn’t NASCAR’s first rodeo into the world of docu-series, though. In 2022, the USA network unveiled The Race to Championship, which, unfortunately, zoomed under the radar and failed to capture the attention NASCAR had hoped for. Hendrick Motorsports star Kyle Larson, who played a central role in one such racing documentary, has offered some valuable insights and witty asides for both Netflix and NASCAR.

NASCAR’s billion-dollar blitz: Kyle Larson weighs in on game-changing venture


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With the documentary slated to premiere at the start of the next season, it’s set to provide an inside look at the 2023 NASCAR playoffs, with filming already having commenced on September 3 at the iconic Darlington Raceway.

The 2021 champion with a remarkable career spanning various racing series, including dirt racing, is no stranger to the world of documentary filmmaking.  Larson‘s journey was immortalized in Dirt, a five-part documentary series released by FloRacing. With NASCAR diving into the documentary arena, Larson’s insights are invaluable.


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When asked about what NASCAR needs to showcase to achieve the same success as Drive to Survive, the #5 driver added, I don’t know. I mean, it’s going to be on Netflix, right? So, I think, no matter how it turns out, it’s going to be really big. But, I’m not a part of it, so I don’t know the angle that they’re coming at to try and promote the sport or the drivers. So, I don’t know. I’m curious to see how it turns out, and I hope and know they’ll do a really good job.”

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Larson also hinted at Netflix’s knack for adding dramatic flair, “But, I think Netflix does a good job of showcasing who the drivers are outside the car but also tapping into the drama and probably making it way more dramatic than it really is. So that’s good, and hopefully, some positive things come from it.”

Adding to the chorus of advice, Bubba Wallace, another prominent figure in NASCAR, shared his thoughts, this time focusing on the drivers and teams.

Wallace’s advice as teams and drivers take notes

Wallace found himself in the spotlight with Netflix’s Race in 2022, consisting of six revealing episodes that delved into his personal struggles with racism, and the challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Having been through the documentary experience, Wallace shared valuable insights into what makes such productions effective.

In an interview with Forbes journalist Greg Engle, the JGR driver emphasized the importance of authenticity as the foundation of any successful documentary. Wallace asserted, “It’s only going to work if you’re yourself. If you want to shut down and say, ‘the car was fast, car was loose, car was tight,’ then it’s a waste of time.” He acknowledged that not everyone is comfortable being constantly surrounded by cameras, but he stressed the necessity of being genuine.


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In his straightforward style, the No. 23 Toyota driver concluded, “It’s not rocket science.” He pointed out that many individuals in the NASCAR garage struggle with this authenticity, “I think a lot of people in the garage struggle with that and we get so caught up in, ‘well, we can’t let them know our secrets and we can’t talk about A, B, and C because we’re worried about X, Y, and Z’.


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As the cameras continue to roll and the drama unfolds, it remains to be seen what the outcome of this exciting venture will be.

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Written by:

Rashi Shetty


One take at a time

Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal