Craig Murto

Craig Murto

Online streaming service Netflix offers a couple auto racing documentaries that are worth watching.

The first is a film called “The Gentleman Driver,” and follows four businessmen who also contribute to endurance sports car racing teams in exchange for a chance to drive.

Gentleman drivers have been a thing in sports car racing for decades, and this film investigates how the four men featured rose to the top of their businesses and rose to the top of the sport.

The documentary whitewashes nothing. In its opening scenes, one of the drivers allowed to take the car out for the final stint at Le Mans throws away a class win. The film investigates the stereotypes and realities of this part of the sport.

Though not professionals, gentleman drivers have to have skills in order to compete at the top level. And many teams would not survive without the funds these racers bring to the table. The Gentleman Driver is a good film to watch to gain an appreciation for an aspect of the sport often misunderstood.

The other documentary on Netflix is a series named “F1: Drive to Survive,” which takes viewers behind the scenes in the F1 paddock, and explores the politics of racing at the top level.

Halfway through the series, I can tell you that it’s going to be easy to finish. So far it spends a lot of time with Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo, exposing some of the politics that led to his departure from the team to join Renault. I didn’t realize, for example, that unproven Max Verstappen was originally signed to a Red Bull contract greater than Ricciardo’s. I’d be looking for a new ride, too.

It’s been reported that Amazon offered a large amount of money for the Docuseries, but F1 chose to go with Netflix. Most of the people who are subscribed to Amazon Prime are there because it’s an added benefit of subscribing to their mail-order service, whereas all of the subscribers to Netflix are there to stream videos.

If you subscribe to Netflix, be sure to view these documentaries. If not, find a friend who does and offer to come over with a pizza for a viewing party. They are both worth watching.

Most of the racing this season has been worth watching, including the two-wheeled action. Eli Tomac won the 450 Supercross race at Daytona over the weekend to open up the competition during Bike Week. Tonight (Thursday) www.fanschoice.tv" target="_blank">www.fanschoice.tv will live stream the American Flat Track event at Daytona, and www.fanschoice.tv will also show America’s premier motorcycle road race, the Daytona 200, on Saturday.

It was recently announced that Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland will honor one of the great Limited Late Model and Super Late Model car owners in the region.

Longtime race fans have recognized the black Ford for many years that was campaigned by Tex Shaffer. Drivers such as Dave Burk, Nathan Durboraw, Bob Salathe, and Brent Smith sat behind the wheel of the Shaffer’s Auto Salvage Special, but Marvin Winters gained the most notoriety as the longest seated and winningest driver of the familiar No. 46 out of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

Shaffer died on Feb. 15. He was 82 years old. In his honor, on May 18, Super Late Models will be in competition for the Shaffer 46 Special. The feature distance will be 46 laps, paying $4,600 to the winner.

Hagerstown Speedway management will be collecting bonus money and/or gifts/prizes to remaining finishers. If you’d like to be a contributor to this event, please contact the speedway office at (301) 582-0640, ext. 202.

More information will be released through the track website at hagerstownspeedway.com.

Many fans are asking what is wrong with Monster Energy Cup driver Kyle Larson. The answer is nothing.

Like the late Tim Richmond, Larson is a great seat-of-the-pants driver. He admits he knows very little about the racecar. That means that he can’t suggest to his crew chief much on how to fix an ill-handling machine.

Richmond could drive anything, no matter how bad the setup was. He was that good. Kyle Larson is that good, too. But with the new high-downforce packages, there is little room for drivers to make up for cars that don’t handle. The rules favor drivers who can help get their cars dialed-in perfectly.

Veteran motorsports columnist Craig Murto is a Linden resident.