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Start Your Bingin': NASCAR Full Speed Netflix Docuseries Delivers the Goods

The five-episode NASCAR docuseries has landed on Netflix, and the show is a complete success on many levels, including giving a true look behind the scenes of the lives of NASCAR Cup Series drivers.


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NASCAR Full Speed, a new Netflix docuseries that covers the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, officially became available on Tuesday, January 30. After watching the five-episode offering, one thing is clear; the tale told by the series is incredibly well done.

The first episode gets off to an awesome start by highlighting the risk/reward and celebrity status that comes with being a race car driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The reoccurring analysis throughout the series by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marty Smith, and Shannon Spake is top-notch.

After the opening montage, the show immediately gives fans a path to find Denny Hamlin, one of NASCAR's most polarizing drivers, very relatable.

I know, I know... Hamlin has 50 NASCAR Cup Series trophies on his mantle, his own private jet, a helicopter, and just about every pair of Jordans ever released, but I promise, he's a human being like us all, and that is on full display in the opening scenes.

Hamlin is caught on camera making a miscue in the kitchen, which ruins his family's breakfast. He then rallies his two daughters and takes them to school. At that moment, he is a parent just trying to make it through the day.

And Hamlin isn't the only one that comes through as relatable in the show.

William Byron, as it turns out, enjoys bowls of Froot Loops, and is an avid Lego builder. Tyler Reddick is a Super Mario Brothers fan, and a Trekkie (Star Trek fan), as well.

The authenticity of the behind-the-scenes views into the lives of the drivers was the biggest takeaway from the series in my opinion.

Fans of the sport know well, and good what the on-track product looks like and what the driver's patented driving styles are like. This finally lifted the veil to show what some of the top drivers in the sport are like away from the track.

At no point does any of it feel scripted, forced, or fake. And in a sport that has had a hard time showing off the personalities of its drivers for years, it's a very welcomed sight.

As the drivers are giving real thoughts on camera, expletives fly from time to time. At the end of the day, the drivers, their wives, and their families are real people, and that truly shines through.

Throughout the docuseries, the pressures of being a NASCAR Cup Series driver in the thick of a Playoff battle are also showcased very well.

Whether it be Bubba Wallace stressing about simply making it into the Playoffs as the final man inside the cutline heading into the regular-season finale at Daytona, or Denny Hamlin listening to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio talking about their thoughts on if he was a championship favorite, or Ross Chastain hearing Hamlin discuss that Chastain is a non-factor for the title on his Actions Detrimental podcast, you can sense how much pressure and outside influence the drivers feel from various forms of media and just the situations they're placed in due to the championship format as they barrel toward their next race.

It's truly awesome to have unprecedented access to that side of the drivers and what those struggles are like.

They also highlight injuries that the drivers go through, and what the days after a big crash are like. Hamlin details a debilitating degenerative shoulder issue, which he eventually underwent surgery to correct this offseason.

Ryan Blaney spends time going over his massive head-on impact at Daytona International Speedway on the couch with his fiancé the day after the hard crash. Blaney admits that before he was in a significant relationship, he would more than likely drink the day away after a hard crash, but goes on to say that he's thankful to have someone who helps him realize to take time to recover after a race now.

That was a truly intriguing piece of footage and shows how important of a role a significant other can play behind the scenes for a race car driver.

Once it's time to race, all of the noise away from the track fades away, and it's all about what takes place on the track. And the on-track recaps in NASCAR Full Speed are incredible as well.

The production combines radio broadcast commentary, television commentary, and breath-taking highlights to help condense a three-hour race into roughly a five to 10-minute thrill ride.

As several drivers are knocked out of a race and are on their way to certain Playoff elimination, such as Joey Logano during the Bristol night race, the camera crew stays with the driver inside their haulers following the race. As their hopes fade, you can see the driver become more and more overcome with the realization that their hopes at a championship have been dashed.

The crescendo of the series is the final race, which encapsulates the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix, where Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Kyle Larson battled it out for the Bill France Cup.

Ultimately, Blaney comes out on top after Bell suffers a mechanical failure and Blaney holds off Larson and Byron despite growing frustrations with Ross Chastain, the eventual winner of the race, who Blaney felt was holding him up.

The show then ends by showing the Blaney championship celebration as well as some parting words from Blaney himself.

NASCAR Full Speed is an awesome display of what a racing docuseries should be. And while the series was thought of as NASCAR's version of F1: Drive to Survive, I truly feel this docuseries had much more to offer overall without being sensationalized for the audience.

If you haven't had a chance to binge through the five episodes yet, make sure to fire up your Netflix account and give NASCAR Full Speed a chance. It's one hell of a watch.

Photo Credit: Craig White, Racing America

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