Nascar Thunder 2002 for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
NASCAR Thunder 2002 features a complete lineup of 23 tracks, representing every NASCAR venue, and over 50 drivers, including such stars as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart. Players can race with a full field of 43 cars and embark on a career spanning 20 consecutive seasons. Game modes include Quick Race, playable with or without qualifying runs, Season, where up to four players can compete in a selectable series of races (12, 24, 36, or custom), and Career.
Career mode begins with players creating a new car, choosing the make, scheme, number, and style of number before deciding on colors and up to four sponsors. Maintaining sponsorship is an important aspect of NASCAR racing, so players must meet the goals delineated in their contracts. Money earned from races and fulfilling sponsorship objectives can be used to purchase upgrades, and winning championships can unlock new cars. Players who manage to win eight championships will face off against NASCAR legend Richard Petty.
Besides switching the car's transmission from manual to automatic, players can set the tire pressure, increase the rear spoiler's degree, tweak suspension and wedge, and set the height of gear ratios to improve overall performance on specific tracks. Other options include a choice of three difficulty levels, adjustable race lengths, and individual toggles for pit stops, car damage, yellow flags, and catch-up AI for multiplayer races. Computer assistance can also be activated to show a track's best line, improve a car's stability control, and to help in cornering.