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NASCAR Thunder 2003 continues EA SPORTS' racing franchise with a new engine designed to offer improvements in physics, handling, and computer AI. Visual refinements include new smoke and car damage effects when ramming into walls or other vehicles; venues filled with more animation and trackside objects; and tire blowouts, sparks, and parts flying off as the race progresses. Seven new tracks include 1950s Daytona Beach and various infield road courses.
The 20-season Career Mode makes its return but with new management options for added depth. Consistently winning races will attract lucrative sponsorships, skilled crew members, and the most sophisticated technology. Lightning Mode debuts with 30 scenarios based on real-life races. Players can attempt to alter events or reenact them as the NASCAR driver associated with each scenario introduces the challenge in full-motion video.
Those new to NASCAR racing can learn from the pros with tips on proper driving lines, brake points, and more as they drive along the track. By performing well in competition, players can earn Thunder Plates to unlock additional drivers, tracks, and videos. Pit crews no longer perform flawlessly and will make mistakes from time to time, costing players valuable seconds. Atmosphere has also been enhanced with course flybys, victory celebrations, and trophy moments. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide