Historically, NASCAR console games have been one of the greatest stepping stones in the budding career of a sim racing enthusiast. Many drivers can recall countless hours spent fine-tuning their setups on NASCAR ‘99 for the original PlayStation, signing their first multimillion dollar sponsor on the legendary NASCAR Thunder 2004, or turning their daydreams into reality by purchasing a Nextel Cup team in NASCAR 07. While the occasional challenger appeared, offering innovating new career modes and racing series, EA’s long-running NASCAR franchise experienced both immense highs and devastating lows, going from critically acclaimed to universally hated in less than a decade. Incredibly detailed career modes were steadily phased out, extra tracks and game modes suddenly went missing, and by the final game in the series, NASCAR 09, even the four makes involved in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season did not appear in-game, in favor of a generic set of brand markings for all cars. It was a dark time, to say the least.