Netflix Series Creator Jeff Lowell Looked To Put A NASCAR Spin On The Office With The Crew

The day after the NASCAR kicked off its 2021 Cup Series schedule with the running of the Daytona 500, Netflix jumped into the NASCAR hype game with the release of the new series The Crew. 

The 10-episode series stars Kevin James as NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Kevin Gibson for the fictional Bobby Spencer Racing team. 

The team is a seemingly middle of the pack Cup Series team. Bobby Spencer is a former driver who started the team. Gibson had previously driven for the team and became the crew chief when his driving career was over. When the old school owner decides to step away from operating the team he puts his 20-something business school educated daughter in charge and she’s ready to make big changes that don’t go over well in the shop.

The team’s hotshot driver Jake Martin is struggling and the new boss wants to replace him with an up and coming female driver named Jessie De Le Cruz.

On the latest edition of Unmuffled we got a chance to chat with Jeff Lowell, the creator and executive producer of the show. 

“To me the model more than any other show was The Office in that it’s about a paper seller in Pennsylvania,” Lowell said during Episode 89 of Unmuffled. “I don’t think a lot of people know about selling paper in Pennsylvania, but you don’t have to know about that to enjoy the show. So that was really what I tried to do, was sort of create something where NASCAR was just value added. I wanted it to look real, which is why NASCAR’s involvement had to be there. 

“We get so many stories from it, but I think they’re relatable stories. Our team is a David and they’re up against Goliath. We have old vs. young built into it with the driver and the crew chief. Their lives are consumed so it’s a family. Most of the stuff is very universal and I think the NASCAR stuff we do, it’s just such a rich source of stories. The idea of sponsors sort of calling the shots is something that you don’t have to watch 100 races to understand how that plays out. It added, but my friends and people I talk to that don’t know anything about NASCAR, it didn’t hinder them.”

To hear more from Lowell on the show, its involvement with NASCAR and where things stand for additional seasons subscribe to the RaceDayCT Insider program. For $5 a month you’ll have access to all of our weekly podcasts including the previous library of episodes. 

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