Netflix Planning New Series Around NASCAR Star

Getty Bubba Wallace competes at Richmond Raceway

Netflix is about to expand its library of motorsports content. The streaming giant announced on Thursday an upcoming series focused on NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. The currently untitled project will dive deep into his first season with the Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin co-owned 23XI Racing.

Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal first broke the news, saying that the new series will take viewers behind the scenes of the 2021 season. It will also explore Wallace’s efforts to advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion in NASCAR and America. There is no set release date or title.

“You know me…I like to keep things real and raw. Pumped to have capture these moments to share with you guys,” Wallace tweeted after the news of the upcoming documentary series.

The Sports Business Journal previously reported in March that Netflix was working in partnership with NASCAR on “some two-dozen” new documentaries and series, partially in response to the massively-popular “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” series. The first project, a sitcom called the “The Crew,” debuted the day after the Daytona 500 and starred Kevin James as a fictional crew chief on a NASCAR Cup Series team.

NASCAR previously highlighted Wallace for a 2018 video series

When Wallace made the leap to a Cup car and signed with Richard Petty Motorsports, he became the only Black driver in the sport’s top series. NASCAR responded by filming a special documentary series in partnership with Facebook Watch. “Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace” spanned eight episodes and followed Wallace’s journey from a child learning to compete on a track to his first Cup start in the 2018 Daytona 500.

GettyBubba Wallace during the 2018 season

The series featured behind-the-scenes moments with Wallace and his girlfriend, Amanda Carter, as they went about their daily lives and prepared for Wallace’s first season with RPM. The episodes also highlighted a historic season-opening race in which he became the first rookie driver to finish second in the Daytona 500.

The Facebook Watch series also detailed the negative reactions to Wallace joining RPM and driving the iconic No. 43. There were several angry tweets used as the basis of Chapter 2, some of which made hateful comments about his family. In order to release some stress, Wallace went and played drums in his basement.

NASCAR detailed the 2020 season in partnership with MotorTrend

This documentary series will not be the first time that a documentary series told the story of a full season. NASCAR partnered with the MotorTrend Group in 2020 for “NASCAR 2020: Under Pressure.” This series detailed the COVID-19-altered season in which the Cup Series came to a halt for 10 weeks, only to return with a very different schedule.

Wallace played a prominent role during one episode of “NASCAR 2020: Under Pressure.” This particular episode, “United We Stand,” focused on NASCAR banning the Confederate flag and the investigation into a garage door rope pull fastened into the shape of a noose at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR President Steve Phelps, Wallace, and several media members discussed the incident, the FBI’s involvement, as well as the backlash that followed.

The MotorTrend series told a fascinating tale about a unique NASCAR season and Chase Elliott’s first championship win, but now Wallace will take center stage in front of a much larger audience. His first season with 23XI Racing will serve as the story for the new Netflix series, which will arrive sometime in the future.

300 Studios and Boardwalk Pictures will be the production companies on the series with Erik Parker directing and serving as an executive producer. Kevin Liles, Nolan Baynes, and Kelly G. Griffin will serve as executive producers for 300 Studios while Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Jordan Wynn, and Sarina Rome will do so for Boardwalk. NASCAR Senior VP & Chief Digital Officer Tim Clark, Managing Dir of Entertainment Marketing & Content Development Matt Summers, and NASCAR Productions Managing Dir and Exec Producer Tally Hair will serve as executive producers for NASCAR.

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