The Daytona 500 took place on Sunday, kicking off the Cup Series season. One day later, Kevin James' new Netflix comedy landed on Netflix to highlight a different part of the sport. The Crew focuses on the family behind a racing team and how it adjusts to stunning changes.
Speaking with PopCulture.com and assembled members of the media, James spoke about shining a new light on the world of NASCAR through The Crew. He explained that while he is excited about the series now, he was initially hesitant to sign on. He said that he didn't understand the project at the time and that he didn't know much about the sport due to growing up on Long Island. James also explained that he didn't know if stock car racing was made for comedy.
"I had just done a sitcom that didn't go that great. It was good, but I was kind of over it," James said during the roundtable. "Todd Garner came up with the idea of, 'How about doing a sitcom about NASCAR?' I go, 'NASCAR is massive, but I don't know too much about it. I don't know how it would work as a comedy.'"
James said that Garner continued to explain that NASCAR would be a prominent part of the sitcom, but it wouldn't be the main focus. The show would actually be a workplace comedy featuring a family and competitiveness. James said that he was still unsure about the project, but a version of the script got him fully on board.
"Jeff Lowell wrote a script, an idea of the script, and it came to life so much for me," James continued. "And I realized that it is the same. It's a family, it's set on the greatest stage ever. It's insane what NASCAR is. The sport just blew me away."
Now that he is fully embracing the NASCAR storylines in The Crew, James is expressing excitement about where the show could ultimately go. Season 1 will highlight Bobby Spencer Racing as it adjusts to new ownership, but James also said that there are endless opportunities for the show moving forward.
"What I love about it is it's not claustrophobic," James said. "[...] This is a world where there is so much — from sponsors, stealing a driver from this team, starting a truck team — it's just endless opportunities. I'm just so excited to be part of it."
The Crew premiered on Netflix on Monday, the day after the Daytona 500. James partners with Jillian Mueller, Freddie Stroma, Gary Anthony Williams, Dan Ahdoot, and Sarah Stiles among others to tell a different NASCAR story. Several other industry figures, such as Ryan Blaney and pit reporter Jamie Little, make cameo appearances as well.