EA's best-selling racing series continues with authentic cars, drivers, venues, and sponsors from the speed-driven sport's 2008 season. Featured locales range from speedways and super speedways to short tracks and road courses. A new career mode involves building your driver's reputation while competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Building reputation is accomplished by leading laps, passing cars, avoiding wrecks, qualifying, and more. Your reputation influences the behavior of the computer AI, the quality of potential sponsorship offers, and even the type of opponents you'll face online.
The Sprint Driver Challenge is a separate play mode featuring multiple race-specific scenarios to complete before engaging in head-to-head events against the sport's most recognizable stars. Cover star Jeff Gordon serves as your personal guide and mentor to the world of NASCAR, offering advice and tips to help improve your level of play. A more forgiving handling model is included to help those new to NASCAR stay on the track without spinning out. Veteran drivers can still choose a simulation-style control scheme for an added challenge, and an assortment of car customization options are available to improve each vehicle's performance on the demanding tracks.