NASCAR Hammer Down

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
NASCAR Hammer Down TV Poster Image
Car-racing show entertains, defies gender stereotypes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Viewers get to glimpse the inner workings of NASCAR races, from the pit crew's work to the intricate jobs of the safety controllers. Some segments touch on the role math and science play in the process. 

Positive Messages

The series gives NASCAR fans a behind-the-scenes look at the sport and its stars. Some content relates STEM curricula to the inner workings of the racing circuit, showing how technicians keep the cars in top shape or how technology enables controllers to maintain safety on the tracks. The fact that the host is a teen girl who's a racer herself contradicts gender stereotypes in the sport. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Karsyn is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about NASCAR, and she's a natural on camera. The racing stars she works with show their lighter selves in fun interviews.

Violence & Scariness

Footage of race crashes, but no injuries.  

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

NASCAR and its stars are the central figures in this show, so it may inspire a new interest in kids who aren't already fans. Many brand names are visible (Coca-Cola, Toyota, Apple), especially on sponsored race cars.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NASCAR Hammer Down is a magazine-format short series with celebrity interviews, pranks, and fascinating facts about the sport and its venues. Hosted by Dale Earnhardt's granddaughter, Karsyn Elledge, the show's main objective is to entertain fans, but some segments introduce STEM topics that relate to its content and show aspects of the disciplines at work within the industry. This fun series is a good pick for kids who already love the sport; those who are newcomers may take a new interest after tuning in.

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What's the story?

NASCAR HAMMER DOWN takes viewers to the racetrack for a close-up look at the sport and its stars. Hosted by Karsyn Elledge -- herself a dirt racer and the granddaughter of legend Dale Earnhardt -- this magazine-formatted series features practical jokes, interviews with big names such as Joey Logano, and lots of factoids about NASCAR and its stars. Favorites Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney team up in a recurring short called "Bubba and Blaney," in which they interact in humorous ways with fans. 

Is it any good?

This fast-paced series is designed with young NASCAR fans in mind, giving them an all-access pass to the track, the pit, the control room, and a number of well-known stars, and Elledge is a real boon. As a racer and member of a NASCAR family, she obviously knows her stuff. As a young teen, she keeps the content lighthearted and relevant to what kids want to see and hear. And as a girl, she defies the assumption that racing is a guy thing.

NASCAR Hammer Down is a fun pick for fans, and it tries to beef up its content by identifying the role of science and math topics in the inner workings of the industry. Overall entertainment value is the clear winner here, but if your kids do watch, you can expand on the learning themes it raises as well. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about real-world applications of science and math. In what capacity are these kinds of skills at work in what you saw of the NASCAR circuit in this show? What other careers that interest your kids require a mastery of these subjects? 

  • Does Karsyn Elledge defy stereotypes in this role? If so, to what degree? Are there any sports that can still be considered gender-specific? Is that a bad thing? 

  • Why is it fun to see celebrities in unscripted roles? On this show, do we get to see their true selves? Does what you see on TV and from stars affect your self-image? 

TV details

Themes & Topics

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