The NASCAR Cup Series season is quickly approaching, and racing's governing body is celebrating the release with a surprise announcement. Friday morning, NASCAR and Netflix dropped the first trailer and release date for Kevin James' new sitcom, The Crew, which focuses on a small Cup team. The Crew will hit the streaming service on Monday, Feb. 15, one day after the season-opening Daytona 500.
The trailer opens with James' character arguing with Catherine (Jillian Mueller), the new owner of Bobby Spencer Racing. She comments about charismatic driver Jake Martin (Freddy Stroma) struggling during the season and crashing in multiple races. James counters by saying that you can't pin the crashes on Jake. He acknowledged that Richmond was the driver's fault, given that he crashed after seeing a cloud that looked like Abraham Lincoln.
The trailer also provided the first glimpses of previously-announced characters, including Chuck Stubbs (Gary Anthony Williams), Beth (Sarah Stiles) and Amir (Dan Ahdoot) as they come to terms with the change in ownership. The first-look reveals that the transition will not be simple, but the race team will band together to make the situation work.
Along with the first trailer, NASCAR and Netflix provided some new casting information. Bruce McGill (MacGyver, National Lampoon's Animal House) will have a guest role as Bobby Spencer, the former owner of his eponymous racing company. He was a beloved driver in NASCAR's early years and created his own team when he retired. However, Spencer walks away from the team after watching technology-driven teams dominate stock car racing.
Paris Berelc (Hubie Halloween, Alexa & Katie) also guest stars in The Crew as Jessica, a young race car driver. The new owner of Bobby Spencer Racing wants to replace Jake with Jessica due to her knowledge about cars and her marketability. Finally, Sons of Anarchy alum Kim Coates makes an appearance in the trailer during a hunting trip, playing a yet-to-be-identified character.
Created in partnership with NASCAR, The Crew will feature authentic racing footage, logos and stock cars. The show previously captured the Spire Motorsports No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro during the Consumers Energy 400 and FireKeepers Casino 400. The racing team used a custom No. 74 Fake Steak paint scheme to portray the car from the show while Reed Sorenson took care of the driving.
James will star and executive produce the NASCAR-centric Netflix series. Jeff Lowell (The Ranch, Two and a Half Men, Spin City) serves as the writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Jeff Sussman (The King of Queens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, True Memoirs of an International Assassin) reunites with James while joining Todd Garner (Tag) and Andy Fickman (Playing With Fire, The Game Plan) as executive producers on the series. NASCAR's managing director of entertainment marketing Matt Summers and chief digital officer Tim Clark both join the series as executive producers while adding authenticity.