Nascar 2004 With Chase

  1. Nascar 2004 Chase
  2. 2004 Nascar Chase Format
  3. Nascar 2004 With Chase Elliott
NASCAR Thunder 2004
Developer(s)Image Space Incorporated(Windows)EA Tiburon(PlayStation 2 and Xbox) and Budcat Creations(PS)[1]
Publisher(s)EA Sports
PlayStation 2
GameCube (cancelled)
  • NA: September 16, 2003
Genre(s)Arcade racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer, multiplayer online

NASCAR Thunder 2004 is a racing simulator by EA Sports, released in 2003 and available in separate versions for PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows. It features the 2002 champion Tony Stewart on the cover with a scowling look to represent the new Grudges and Alliances feature. It was the only game as of 2002 to feature the previous Winston Cup Champion on the cover. The game had the most extensive soundtrack of the series up from four songs from the previous game. The game also has a career mode, season mode, Lightning Challenge mode, SpeedZone, as well as a tutorial mode featuring Richard Petty. The game is an EA Sports Bio game, and is compatible with other EA Sports Bio games like Madden NFL 2004 and NCAA Football 2004.[3] A Nintendo GameCube port was planned but was cancelled for unknown reasons.

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NASCAR Thunder 2004 was the last EA Sports NASCAR Series game to be released on PlayStation platform to date.

Game modes[edit]

  • Career mode returns from previous games in the series. The player takes control of a custom driver and races to get sponsors, equipment for his garage, and respect from other drivers.[4]
  • Season mode allows players to take control of either a custom driver, or an existing driver for a season or more, with custom rules and schedules.[4]
  • SpeedZone is a mode in which players can hone their skills in passing, blocking, drafting, as well as time trials.[3]
  • Lightning Challenge is a mode in which the player takes control of a driver and race in a situation that occurred in the 2002 Winston Cup and 2003 Winston Cup seasons to that particular driver. It also includes a video with Michael Waltrip as the reporter, and beating these challenges unlocks new Thunder Plates, which unlock new tracks, fantasy drivers, Busch Series drivers from the 2003 season, as well as legendary drivers.[4]
  • Another new game mode is Online mode, where players can race online if they have an Internet connection and adapter. Microphone support also was available on PC and PlayStation 2, but not on Xbox and PS1.[3]
  • Thunder License, a tutorial mode featuring NASCAR legend Richard Petty, in which the player chooses a driver and follows him along a racing line around the track, with voice commentary by Petty. The racing line can also be toggled in Race Now mode.

Grudges and Alliances feature[edit]

The main feature of the game is the 'Grudges and Alliances' feature, which is based on the player's driving style and attitude. If the player drives dirty and bumps into other drivers, even if it was an unintentional bump, that driver becomes a 'Rival', and will bump into the player if they happen to encounter each other later in the race. However, if the player drafts the opponent (a new feature for the game), that rival's level in grudge severity drops. If the player drafts a neutral driver long enough, that driver will become an 'Ally', and at times will let the player pass. Conversely, if the player bumps into an ally, their alliance will slowly drop. The maximum severity value for both grudges and alliances is -100 and +100, respectively. Players can see their four highest grudges and alliances at the end of the race. In Season and Career modes, the grudges and alliances the player makes carry over to future races.[3]


The game received positive reviews from critics, with IGN giving the PS2 version an 8.8/10, praising the sounds, 'QuickSave', and microphone support. The main issue that IGN cited was that the driving model is somewhat unrealistic.[3]IGN gave the PC version an 8.5, with the issue being the spotter's incompetence.[5] The Xbox review was also an 8.5, and praised the framerate. GameSpot called the game the Tony Hawk or Madden of NASCAR, and gave the game an 8.8, with Metacritic giving it an 88.[6] The more critical review came from GameZone, which gave the game an 8.4.[7]



The game received many top awards, the most notable was received at the 2003 Video Game Awards, where NASCAR Thunder 2004 won the award for 2003's best racing game. It is currently the only NASCAR game to win an award at the VGAs.


  1. ^'Gamezone: NASCAR Thunder 2004 PSX'. Gamezone. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006.
  2. ^'GameFAQs: NASCAR Thunder 2004 PS2'.
  3. ^ abcdeMacGruder, Randy. 'NASCAR Thunder 2004 - PlayStation 2 Review at IGN'. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  4. ^ abc
  5. ^MacGruder, Randy. 'NASCAR Thunder 2004 Review - PC Review at IGN'. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  6. ^'NASCAR Thunder 2004 Review'. 2003-09-23. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  7. ^'NASCAR Thunder 2004 - PC - Review'. GameZone. 2003-09-28. Retrieved 2012-07-16.

External links[edit]

  • NASCAR Thunder 2004 at MobyGames

Previous game:
NASCAR Thunder 2003
Next game:
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup

Nascar 2004 Chase

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Jeff Gordon announced Thursday that 2015 will be his final full-time season in the sport, meaning he has only one chance left to conquer NASCAR’s new playoff format. Since NASCAR introduced the Chase in 2004, Gordon has never won the championship and will now retire with either four or five titles, depending on his performance this year.

Gordon is a racing legend, there’s no doubt about that — but if NASCAR had never messed with the points format, Gordon would arguably be the greatest driver in NASCAR history.

Back in the pre-Chase days, each race on the schedule was weighted equally and the champion at the end of the season was often the driver who was the most consistent over the course of 36 races. There were no points resets with 10 races to go and no elimination rounds. Gordon won four championships under the classic points system, and after winning his fourth in 2001, it seemed possible if not likely that Gordon would match or surpass Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt’s record of seven series titles.

Everything changed in 2004, when NASCAR spiced up the end of the season to improve TV ratings by installing a playoff format, erasing the point advantages the top 10 drivers had worked for all season and making them start from scratch with 10 races to go. NASCAR has tinkered with the format over the last decade, and in 2014 made even more drastic changes, instituting a knockout format that leaves only four drivers eligible to win the title on the final day of the season.

In the process, NASCAR made it increasingly difficult to compare drivers across eras. Jimmie Johnson has six titles, but all six of them came in the Chase era. Tony Stewart is the only driver to win a championship under the old format and through the Chase.

Nascar 2004 with chase elliott

One thing is clear: No driver has suffered from the Chase more than Jeff Gordon.

If you recalculate the points standings using the old pre-Chase format (as Jayski does each year), Gordon would be driving for his eighth series title in 2015, instead of being stuck on four.

2004 Nascar Chase Format

In 2004, the first year of the Chase, Gordon finished 1st at the Brickyard to win his fifth race of the year and cap a 6-race streak of top-5 finishes. He was dominant all summer, but three Chase finishes outside the top 15 (including a disastrous 34th at Atlanta) ruined his season. He finished the season third, 16 points behind champion Kurt Busch. Under the old system, Gordon would have won his fifth title.

Nascar 2004 With Chase Elliott

In 2007, Gordon once again breezed through the first two-thirds of the season. By August 12th at Watkins Glen, Gordon had finished outside the top 10 in just three of 23 races. At the end of the “regular season,” Gordon had a 312 point lead on second-place Tony Stewart, which would have been an insurmountable difference in the past. He started the chase behind Jimmie Johnson because he had fewer wins, and ended up finishing 77 points behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.

In 2014, Gordon was knocked out of championship contention by one point in the penultimate race of the year despite finishing second at Phoenix, and had to settle for fifth place in the standings. He finished the season with 23 top 10s, more than any other driver, to go along with four wins. Under the old format, Gordon would have joined Petty and Earnhardt with seven NASCAR championships. Instead, Kevin Harvick won his first.

The Chase may have helped make NASCAR more relevant during football season, but it also changed the course of history for one of its biggest stars