Updated Jan 30, 2024 - News

New Netflix NASCAR docuseries highlights Charlotte, from massive mansions to the speedway

Ross Chastain at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Ross Chastain at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

It's hard to showcase NASCAR without highlighting the Charlotte area.

  • Netflix's new sports docuseries does just that, from the Uptown skyline and NASCAR Hall of Fame, to team headquarters and drivers' massive mansions on Lake Norman and in south Charlotte.

Driving the news: "NASCAR: Full Speed" premieres today, Jan. 30. It will follow the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series (stock car racing's highest level) playoffs and championship race.

Why it matters: If "Full Speed" has the same impact "Drive to Survive" did on viewers, it could convert even more people into fans of NASCAR, a sport that helped establish Charlotte as a major sports city.

  • The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2006 in Uptown. The region is home to several well-known NASCAR teams and drivers.

Yes, but: Sports across the board are grappling with how to reach new audiences.

  • -NASCAR has looked to boost both attendance and viewership. And attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame hasn't met expectations.
  • -That's where docuseries like this and "Drive to Survive," which follows Formula 1 racing, come in. It gives people a peek behind the curtain.

My thought bubble: NASCAR has been around for decades — and while it has had its challenges, other pro sports in Charlotte have really frustrated fans recently. Maybe Charlotte will return to its roots and rekindle its love for NASCAR.

Details: "Full Speed" will include five 45-minute episodes. Expect to see racetracks that host playoff races, like Charlotte Motor Speedway. Drivers you'll see in the show include:

Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin, who drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin co-owns Huntersville-based 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan.

Denny Hamlin. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Denny Hamlin. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano, who drive for Mooresville-based Team Penske.

Joey Logano (center) and family. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Joey Logano (center) and family. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

William Byron and Kyle Larson, who drive for Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports. Byron is a Charlotte native and Charlotte Country Day alum.

Charlotte native William Byron at the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 05, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix/Tyler Schank
Charlotte native William Byron. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix/Tyler Schank

Ross Chastain, who drives for Concord-based Trackhouse Racing. Grammy Award-winning artist Pitbull is part-owner of the team.

Ross Chastain. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Ross Chastain. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace, who drive for 23XI Racing. "Race: Bubba Wallace," a Netflix docuseries that came out in 2022, explored Wallace's journey as the only Black driver in NASCAR's Cup series.

Of note: NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. is an executive producer of the series, along with Connor Schell and Aaron Cohen of Words + Pictures, and Ben Kennedy, Tim Clark, Matt Summers, and Tally Hair of NASCAR Studios.

  • Words + Pictures and NASCAR Studios produced the series. Jackie Decker and Tim Mullen produced and edited "Full Speed."
"NASCAR: Full Speed" footage.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Editor's note: This story was originally published on Jan. 16, 2024 and was updated on Jan. 30 to reflect Charlotte's presence in the series.

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