Netflix Swapping Cars, Venues for ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ Docuseries Bowing Jan. 30

Looking to replicate its global success with Formula 1 auto racing docuseries, “F1: Drive to Survive,” Netflix is switching venues and cars to U.S. soil for new series “NASCAR: Full Speed,” launching Jan. 30.

The five-part, 45-minute episode series follows nine playoff drivers competing for the 2023 Cup Series championship, both on and off the track and showcasing exclusive access to the drivers and teams. The rivers include:


“People are going to see [NASCAR] up close and see the beating and the banging and the aggressiveness of the drivers, but also the skill of the drivers — and what they’re able to do with a race car [driving at] 200 miles an hour, around 38 other race cars … for 400 miles,” Tim Clark, SVP and chief digital officer at NASCAR, said in a statement.

The series is produced by Word + Pictures and NASCAR Studios, with executive producers Connor Schell (“30 for 30”), Aaron Cohen, Ben Kennedy, Tim Clark, Matt Summers, Tally Hair, and retired Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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NASCAR Inks 7-Year Media Rights Deal That Includes Live Streaming on Prime Video, Max, Peacock

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has reached new seven-year media rights agreements for its Cup Series with Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Prime Video and TNT Sports, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery — to deliver live coverage of all 38 NASCAR Cup Series races beginning in 2025 and extending through the 2031 season.

Financial terms of these agreements were not disclosed, but media reports peg the combined agreements at $7.7 billion over the 7-year period.

Fox Sports and NBC Sports will continue to carry the majority of NASCAR Cup Series races with 14 events each. The Fox Sports portion of the Cup Series schedule, which kicks off the season Feb. 4, 2024, with The Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, followed by The Daytona 500 (Feb. 17, 2024), will also include live events for the entire NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

NBC Sports’ coverage will encompass the final 14 events of the season, including the Playoffs and Championship race, featuring a mix of races and content on the Peacock streaming platform. Both Fox and NBC will feature a mix of broadcast and cable events, with five Cup events airing on Fox and four on NBC annually. The remaining events will air on FS1 and USA Network, respectively.

As part of this landmark agreement, Prime Video and TNT Sports will evenly split a series of 10 midseason races. Both have also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying sessions for the entire Cup Series schedule through 2031.

Prime Video, NASCAR’s first direct-to-consumer partner, will stream practice and qualifying live for the first half of the season through their last race of the midseason series with the exceptions of the Busch Light Clash, Daytona 500 and NASCAR All-Star Race.

The deal marks Amazon’s second major live sports streaming deal following its landmark $11 billion with the NFL for “Thursday Night Football.”

TNT Sports will initiate its coverage with the next five midseason races simultaneously broadcast live on TNT and streaming on the B/R Sports Add-On on Max. Practice and qualifying for the remainder of the season will stream on Max and air on truTV.

“Our goal was to secure long-term stability with an optimized mix of distribution platforms and innovative partners that would allow us to grow the sport, while delivering our product to fans wherever they are — and we’ve achieved that today,” Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR, said in a statement.

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“The media landscape is rapidly evolving, with new distribution platforms providing more options to the consumer than ever before,” Brian Herbst, SVP, media and productions at NASCAR, said in a statement. “This is…positioning NASCAR for growth across different mediums and giving our fans uninterrupted access on the established platforms that they are already using.”

As previously announced, The CW Network is set to become the exclusive home to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, beginning in 2025 and extending through the 2031 season with 33 live races. The Xfinity Series features up-and-coming drivers in NASCAR.

Fox Nation SVOD Service Title Sponsor for Daytona 500 Race Car Driver

Fox Corp. is going all in for NASCAR’s Feb. 20 season opener Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Subscription streaming platform Fox Nation is partnering with Spire Motorsports to serve as the primary sponsor of the team’s Number 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by NASCAR Cup Series racer Landon Cassill.

Launched in 2018, politically themed Fox Nation will not live stream the race as Fox is handling the TV broadcast of the 40th running of the 500-mile event. Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch will be the official race starter.

Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Charles Woodson will be the Grand Marshall for “The Great American Race.”

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Fox Nation is streaming four NASCAR-themed episodes around the Daytona 500, and its joint marketing efforts with car owner Spire Motorsports.

Episode 1: “Spire Motorsports”
With the prestigious Daytona 500 on the horizon, the men and women of Spire Motorsports discuss their strategy going into the gargantuan race as one of the smallest teams in the league.

Episode 2: “Testing the Track”
Having prepped everything they could, the Spire Motorsports team puts rubber to the road for the first time of the season on the legendary Daytona International Speedway.

Episode 3: “The Clash” (streaming Feb. 19)
The Spire Motorsports team steps onto the track in the legendary Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, for what will be the first race ever held by NASCAR at the tradition-rich stadium.

Episode 4: “The 500” (streaming Feb. 25)
This one’s for all the marbles as Spire Motorsports, one of NASCAR’s smallest teams, attempts to win NASCAR’s biggest race.

On the Fox News Channel, morning show “Fox & Friends Weekend,” with hosts Will Cain, Pete Hegseth and Rachel Campos-Duffy, will be on the ground all weekend at the NASCAR season opener for a special edition of the show.

FuboTV Adds NASCAR to Pending Sportsbook

Fubo Sportsbook, the pending mobile sportsbook from online streaming platform FuboTV, has signed a partnership agreement with NASCAR to become an “authorized gaming operator” for the stockcar governing body. Fubo Sportsbook and NASCAR will collaborate to provide racing fans with a unique wagering experience.

The launch of Fubo Sportsbook (in Q4 2021) is an industry-first integration of sports wagering and live TV streaming, and is subject to requisite regulatory approvals as the line between professional sports and betting becomes even fuzzier.

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The deal marks Fubo’s first partnership in auto racing and marks its third major marketing deal in the professional sports industry following pacts with the New York Jets (NFL) and Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA).

“We’re eager to partner with NASCAR, a league with a rich history and passionate followers,” Sam Rattner, chief operating officer of Fubo Gaming, said in a statement. “Fubo Sportsbook is continuing to expand its marketing footprint, propelling us toward our goal of reaching sports enthusiasts across the country.”

Fubo Sportsbook will be promoted by NASCAR through a multi-channel marketing campaign bolstered by at-track assets, in-app use of NASCAR-owned track, series and event marks and logos, in addition to the distribution of assets across NASCAR’s digital and social platforms and events.

“Fubo Sportsbook provides us with an opportunity to further expand NASCAR’s reach through a unique sports betting experience,” said Joseph Solosky, managing director of sports betting, NASCAR. “Whether it’s the casual viewer or die-hard race fan, Fubo Sportsbook’s innovative approach to sports wagering brings a more exciting experience for our audience as they’re able to interact with the sport in new ways.”

Netflix Producing Docu-Series on Black NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace

Netflix is in production on a documentary series following NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace as he competes for the newly formed 23XI Racing team.

The series will take viewers behind the scenes of the 2021 NASCAR season through the eyes of the only Black driver at the top level of the sport, and will explore Wallace, 23XI Racing, and NASCAR’s efforts to advocate for inclusion and equality in racing and beyond.

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Following the murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer last year, NASCAR banned display of the Confederate flag at sanctioned events.

When Wallace publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement, calling for racial justice reform within law enforcement, he allegedly received myriad threats, and reported seeing a noose hanging from his service garage (though it turned out to be a rope tied to serve as a handle in a way common for such doors).

Crackle Plus Streaming Original NASCAR Documentary Series

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported VOD platform owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, June 30 announced the premiere of its original documentary series “Road to Race Day” bowing on July 1.

Executive produced by Peter Berg’s (“Friday Night Lights”) Emmy Award-winning company, Film 45 (“QB1: Beyond the Lights,” “All or Nothing: Manchester City”) and director Cynthia Hill’s Emmy Award-winning company, Markay Media (“A Chef’s Life,” “Somewhere South”) for Complex Networks, the eight-episode series showcases the 2017 season of NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports, and features star drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, and Kasey Kahne, among others. The camera follows the drivers around every turn, both on and off the track, to give the audience unprecedented access to what it takes to drive into the winner’s circle week after week and race after race.

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“Looking at the tremendous success we found with our basketball docu-series ‘On Point,’ we realized we found partners who understood our vision through Film 45, Screen Media Ventures, and Crackle,” said Nick Wang, head of distribution and business development for Complex Networks.

Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said viewers have long coveted sports content and the July Fourth weekend is the traditional high-water mark of the NASCAR racing season.

“This series will have viewers on the edge of their seats,” Guelton said.

Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 NASCAR Cup Series championships, the most in history, and holds the all-time records in nearly every major statistical category at the sport’s highest level.

“With Road to Race Day, Cynthia and her team created something truly special,” said Patrick Perkins, VP of marketing for Hendrick Motorsports. “There’s never been another docu-series about our sport that’s anything like it, before or since.”

“Road to Race Day” is distributed worldwide by Screen Media Ventures, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, and the supplier of exclusive and original content for Crackle Plus.

Crackle is available in the U.S. and can be accessed on 25 devices and services including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), on Plex, on iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.”

Days of Thunder


$29.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13.’
Stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Nicole Kidman, Michael Rooker, Cary Elwes, John C. Reilly, Fred Dalton Thompson.

Almost immediately upon its release in 1990, Days of Thunder was labeled by critics as a car racing version of Top Gun, a reputation that isn’t exactly unearned.

Days of Thunder shares the same production team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, the same director in Tony Scott, and also stars Tom Cruise, who plays another hotshot looking to fulfill his need for speed with reckless abandon.

In this case, Cruise’s character is named Cole Trickle, an Indy circuit washout looking to make a name for himself in NASCAR. He takes on the mentorship of a master pit crew chief played by Robert Duvall, but a devastating crash shakes his confidence.

Robert Towne’s screenplay (with Cruise sharing a story credit) throws not one but two rivals at Trickle. First is Michael Rooker’s Rowdy Burns, the top dog of the circuit whose career is cut short in the same wreck that impairs Cole. When they become fast friends due to shared misfortune, Rowdy asks Cole to take over his racing team, setting up the showdown with rival No. 2, another rookie driver named Russ Wheeler, played by Cary Elwes, whose blink-and-you’ll-miss-it introduction obscures a rise through the ranks so unexpectedly rapid that one wonders why the movie isn’t about him.

The requisite love interest, which like with Top Gun comes with professional complications, is Cole’s and Rowdy’s neurologist, played by Nicole Kidman, who was 22 at the time of filming lest anyone wish to question the likelihood of her character’s medical credentials. The swirling rumors of the day suggested Cruise became enamored with Kidman after seeing her in 1989’s Dead Calm and arranged for her to be in Days of Thunder so they could meet. When 1990 began he had been married to Mimi Rogers, but divorced her in February. Cruise and Kidman were married from December 1990, six months after Days of Thunder hit theaters, to 2001.

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For the most part, Days of Thunder comes across as a series of exciting racing scenes and establishing shots of NASCAR speedways strung together with a by-the-numbers plot and some perfunctory dialogue. Duvall is as good as he usually is, while Cole Trickle is such a stock character in the Tom Cruise mold that naming him is more a screenwriting formality than a necessity of the story.

This new edition of Days of Thunder is presented as both a standalone Blu-ray under the “Paramount Presents” label, as well as a 4K Ultra HD disc with digital copy. The 4K version doesn’t come with a separate Blu-ray Disc, which is something of a break from the industry norm of 4K/Blu-ray combo packs, so consumers will have to pick whether they want the higher-definition resolution of the 4K version or the fancy Paramount Presents slipcover with fold-out movie poster. The film looks great either way, particularly because the racing footage is so good.

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The new Days of Thunder Blu-ray seems to have avoided the fate of most of the other titles in the Paramount Presents line, which to this point has offered Blu-ray re-releases with most of the bonus materials from previous editions left out this go-around (it seems anything previously available only in SD got the axe, with maybe a new short retrospective featurette to replace it).  That’s because the previous Days of Thunder Blu-ray from 2008 had zero extras on it aside from the film’s trailer, so anything offered here is a step up. The extras, sparse as they may be, are the same on both the Blu-ray and 4K discs.

The new discs don’t include the trailer, but they do have a seven-minute “Filmmaker Focus” featurette which is essentially a retrospective interview with Bruckheimer interspersed with clips from the movie.

There’s also an isolated audio track containing just Hans Zimmer’s musical score, his first of many collaborations with the Bruckheimer/Simpson team. Zimmer’s music is a highlight of the movie, but compared with the rest of Zimmer’s works it comes across as one of the more generic efforts in a career built on establishing a baseline sound for reliable action cues.

NASCAR Bans Confederate Flag Display at Races

In a surprise move, NASCAR June 10 announced it will no longer permit attendees to display the Confederate flag at sanctioned events. With the sport’s southern heritage, the controversial flag has been unofficially on display at races in support of southern history — not hate, according to backers.

The flag was one of three southern segregationists carried into battle during the Civil War. It is also a reminder to African-Americans of the bitter history of slavery and why the war was fought.

In the aftermath of the Greg Floyd killing by Minneapolis police, national protests against police brutality toward black men and in respect to the sport’s lone African-American driver, Darrell Bubba Wallace Jr., who competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, the sport’s governing body decided to make a change.

“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry,” the organization said in a statement. “Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

Wallace, who is racing June 10 in Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, called the move a “huge, pivotal moment.”

“Bravo. Props to NASCAR and everybody involved,” Wallace told Fox Sports. “This has been a stressful couple weeks. This is no doubt the biggest race of my career tonight. And it couldn’t be at a more perfect place, where I got my first win in the Truck Series in 2013. Followed it up with that second win in 2014. So I’m excited about tonight. There’s a lot of emotions on the race track and off the race track that are riding with us, but tonight is something special. Today’s been special. Again, hats off to NASCAR.”

The decision comes as renewed calls for the takedown of Confederate statues in cities and government buildings throughout the South grow in volume.

NASCAR Partners With Facebook for New Interactive Fan App

NASCAR June 2 announced a partnership with Facebook for a new iOS and Android app that enables spectators to interact with commentators at live events.

Created by Facebook’s “New Product Experimentation” team, which researches, tests and refines new product experiences, the app dubbed “Venue” aims to offer fans an improved second-screen experience while watching sporting event.

Users will be able to interact with the expert commentators, journalists, current or former athletes or aspiring “fan-analysts,” who will host a venue for each race. During the race, those commentators will provide commentary, pose interactive questions and polls and open up short chats around specific moments of the event. Users will also be able to communicate with each other and enjoy multiple venues during a given race, offering different takes depending on their favorite expert commentary.

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“As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes,” Tim Clark, SVP and chief digital officer at NASCAR, said in a statement. “NASCAR was built on innovation, and we couldn’t be more excited to help a great partner like Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team innovate around new platforms.”

Ime Archibong, head of Facebook’s New Product Experimentation, said the app is a good way to jumpstart live sporting events during a pandemic.

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“Digital spaces can connect us when we can’t be together in person, and Venue is one way to feel the energy of watching live events with other fans,” Archibong said.

Facebook said commentators will be able to create “moments” during the race — short-lived, digital opportunities for fans to connect based on something interesting that happened on the track. Users will be notified when a new “moment” is created so they don’t miss commentary while watching the race and interacting within the app.

Social media personality @nascarcasm will serve as the expert commentator for Sunday’s (June 7) Food City 500, with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Landon Cassill and Fox Sports NASCAR reporter Alan Cavanna slated to appear in the app in future weeks.

Facebook Watch Bowing New Reality Series Starring Female NASCAR Driver Angela Ruch

Facebook Watch, social media giant’s ad-supported streaming video platform, is launching a reality series featuring Nascar driver Angela Ruch and her unconventional family. Premiering Feb. 4, “The Ruch Life” is an eight-part, unfiltered docuseries featuring Ruch, and her sometimes outrageous and often hilarious husband, Mike.

The series chronicles the day-to-day lives of the Ruch household as they go through highs and lows, triumphs and challenges. From extravagant vacations to family feuding and the adversities and abundance of the adoption process, chaos ensues as Angela’s agent and manager pull her in the opposite direction from her husband, while housekeeper, “Berta,” has her hands full trying to keep up, the series ties in a number of cast members that make up the wild life with the Ruchs.

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“Although unique and eccentric in their own way, ‘The Ruchs’ are that family who have that one member everyone can relate to,” O Lee Solomon III, co-executive producer, said in a statement. “This series is a fun, fresh way for us to add to the diverse lineup of Facebook Watch.”

Executive Producer Jason Sciavicco (creator and showrunner for MTV’s “Two-a-Days,” Esquire’s “Friday Night Tykes,” Showtime’s “A Season With” and Facbook’s “Inside the Madness”) has been a longtime advocate for the show.

“I met the Ruchs years ago and was immediately struck by how wild yet loveable they were,” he said. “Since that day, I knew I had to make this show happen and am thrilled for audiences to meet the family I fell for years ago.”

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“The Ruch Life” schedule on Facebook Watch:

Episode 1 Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 8am EST
Episode 2 Thursday, Feb. 6 at 8am EST
Episode 3 Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8am EST
Episode 4 Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 8am EST
Episode 5 Thursday, Feb. 13 at 8am EST
Episode 6 Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 8am EST
Episode 7 Thursday, Feb. 20 at 8am EST
Episode 8 Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8am EST