NASCAR is rapidly approaching the playoffs in the Cup Series. It's that wonderful time of year when 16 drivers duke it out for championship honors. This year, the drama won't just be limited to the race broadcasts, with Netflix getting involved to capture all the drama for its latest motorsport series.
As reported by Motorsport.com, Netflix will produce a five-part docuseries on the 2023 playoffs, which will debut sometime in early 2024. Each episode is slated to be roughly 45 minutes in length. The series has some big names involved, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. serving as an executive producer on the project. Also on the roster are executive producers Connor Schell and Libby Geist, who both worked on The Last Dance, the highly successful documentary chronicling the success of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Expect the series to do for NASCAR what Drive to Survive did for Formula 1. The series will have exclusive access to drivers and teams, giving us a look at the sport outside of the usual race broadcast and pitlane interviews. Producers are eager to highlight what the sport involves away from the track, and the "physical and mental challenges of competing for a championship at the world's highest level of stock car racing."
Drive to Survive hasn't just been a runaway success for Netflix; it's also helped attract new fans to the sport of Formula 1. It's no surprise that there would be an appetite to recreate this formula across other motorsports. Outside of racing, sporting docuseries are becoming a seriously hot category. Standouts like Welcome to Wrexham and Tour de France: Unchained are proving useful vehicles to attract new fans to existing sports properties.
Indeed, both NASCAR and IndyCar have tried as much already. NASCAR created Race For The Championship, a series concerning the 2022 playoffs, while IndyCar created 100 Days to Indy. Despite their qualities, both series failed to really connect with a critical mass of viewers or make a significant cultural impact.
NASCAR will be hoping that the partnership with Netflix will help this project hit the right emotional marks and reach a broader audience. With the right production and a little bit of drama in the playoffs, it could make for some seriously addictive watching when it comes out next year.
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