There's no question that with all of the new features, NASCAR 09 is an improvement over previous installments in the series. The gameplay hasn't received much attention, but better presentation, the ability to completely customize your ride, and other minor enhancements make this a game that should please most fans of the sport.
Jeff Gordon's involvement can be seen consistently throughout the game--he's not just the guy on the cover. What makes his involvement unique is that Gordon essentially acts as a pit-crew chief to help users navigate through all of the different stages that a driver must take to reach the winner's podium. The onscreen addition of the four-time Cup champ improves the presentation and results in a better overall experience. However, he's not the only driver to have an impact on the game. EA has finally worked out a deal to add Carl Edwards and his #99 car to the roster. The rest of the field remains the same as a year ago.