NASCAR: Full Speed

NASCAR: Full Speed

TV-MA

netflix

An entertaining but ultimately limited backstage pass into American auto racing

6.4

TV Show

United States of America
English
Documentary
2024
Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain

TLDR

Whether it comes to F1 or NASCAR, the phrase "drive to survive" has never seemed more false; these people have death wishes.

What it's about

A behind-the-scenes look at several of the drivers who participated in the 2023 NASCAR Cup playoffs leading up to the championship race.

The take

Whether or not one is a fan of auto racing, a documentary series like NASCAR: Full Speed manages to stay exciting simply due to the extreme nature of the sport. It isn't just a highlight reel of wipeouts and close calls, of course, but the insights we get into how complex (and expensive) racing is—and how much these racers have put on the line for themselves—increases the tension in every lap. Still, there's a sense that Full Speed is only sticking to the stories and personalities we expect to see in this kind of show. And like many other sports docs, it can't help but begin to go through the usual motions, becoming more like white noise punctuated by bursts of thrilling action.

What stands out

For NASCAR newbies such as this writer, the details that wind up being most intriguing in Full Speed are actually those on the business end of things. Anybody who loves sports is understandably focused on the game itself being played, but it can be just as interesting (and arguably as crucial) to consider the way that brand or team loyalty (or lack thereof) can change the way decisions are made on the track. Again, these details aren't particularly novel either, but they'll always help color the sport in a much grayer light.

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