What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which young race car drivers from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds compete for a spot on a new NASCAR team created to the boost the presence of women and minorities in the sport -- offers positive messages and role models for tweens and up. Issues like sexism and racism are occasionally discussed, and drivers are shown wiping out and crashing into other cars (no visible injuries). Words like “hell” and “damn” are sometimes audible, while occasional stronger swear words are bleeped. Typically for NASCAR, brand logos (Shell, Sunoco, Goodyear, Toyota, and more) are visible on both cars and drivers' uniforms.
What's the story?
CHANGING LANES follows NASCAR’s search for the next big female and/or minority driver. The show introduces viewers to 30 young hopefuls of varying skill levels who are trying out for a spot in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, which is designed to develop female and minority driving talent. After a series of evaluations and time trials, the contestant pool is reduced to 10 finalists. With the help of NASCAR mentors -- including no-nonsense coach Phil Horton -- the finalists must continue to develop their skills while avoiding elimination. In the end, four drivers will land coveted spots on NASCAR president Max Siegel’s new team, Revolution Racing.
Is it any good?
The series, which is narrated by mucisian Ludacris, highlights NASCAR’s efforts to develop a new generation of driving talent that reflects the sport’s diverse fan base. It also addresses some of the challenges that female and minority drivers face when trying to break into the sport.
Young racing fans will enjoy the insider’s view of the sport, as well as the pre-race preparations that the young drivers must go through to become better athletes. But you don’t have to be a racing fan to appreciate the show’s positive message or to be inspired by the commitment that everyone featured in Changing Lanes is making to make NASCAR a more diverse and accepting sport.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the relationship between race, gender, and sports. Why do athletes of a specific gender, race, or ethnicity seem to dominate some sports? Do you think this is based on ability? Existing stereotypes? Or are there other factors?
Do you think efforts like NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program are good ways of opening up sports to all people? Why or why not?