NASCAR, the most popular motorsport in the United States, has worked with video game developers to design several video games. In 2003, EA Sports received an exclusive console license to produce NASCAR games, eliminating Papyrus and Hasbro Interactive as competitors. In May 2009, IRacing.com received a license to run NASCAR-sanctioned online racing starting in 2010. In June 2009 at the E3 Gaming Expo, NASCAR was revealed to be a part of the Gran Turismo series for the first time in Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3.
In 1994, Papyrus Design Group, an up-and-coming simulation racing developer (at the time) that was best known for the IndyCar Racing series, released the first installation to the NASCAR Racing Series into the video game market. The game was a huge success. This game, with its revolutionary and dynamic car physics system, changed the image of many people that thought NASCAR was "just a boring sport where you watched cars make left hand turns all day".
Over the next decade Papyrus teamed with Sierra Entertainment and continued producing games for their NASCAR Racing series. The NASCAR Racing games were universally praised for their accuracy in terms of physics and track feel, with NASCAR Cup and Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) Series drivers regularly practicing for upcoming tracks using the games. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex, Jr. still use the game for training. Prior to sweeping both races at Pocono in 2006, Denny Hamlin had only seen the track in NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.
Electronic Arts, through their EA Sports banner, developed NASCAR games for the original PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64 under names such as NASCAR 98, NASCAR 99, NASCAR 2000 and NASCAR Road Racing. Also, a big hit for the company was NASCAR Rumble, a spin-off of the normal NASCAR racing games. The company expanded into NASCAR games for PC, Game Boy Color for their 2000 game, and the PlayStation 2 for their 2001 game, the last under the old name. For 2002, the series was renamed NASCAR Thunder, and by 2003, has simultaneously been released on GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC, and the original PlayStation.
EA Sports decided to split their old "Thunder" titles into two separate racing lines; one for consoles focused on gameplay, and one for PC, which attempted to focus on technical accuracy in the spirit of the old Papyrus/Sierra lines - indeed the PC game used many former members of the Papyrus development teams (although David Kaemmer was not involved). The games were given differing names, as to not confuse the two, with the console series renamed NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup (released in 2004, a reference to the new NASCAR playoff format) and the PC series renamed NASCAR SimRacing (released in 2005). Sweeping gameplay changes meant that the "Chase for the Cup" name was dropped from the 2006 edition of the console game. Instead, the game was titled NASCAR 06: Total Team Control. The new name is derived from the new feature by which a player who has teammates in the field can actually switch to their teammates' cars and control them during a race. It was released on August 30, 2005. Released on September 6, 2006, NASCAR 07 was EA Sports' tenth game in the series. NASCAR 09 was the final game in the EA Sports NASCAR series. It is available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as PlayStation 2. The NASCAR series took a different approach in 2009, as EA introduced NASCAR Kart Racing on the Wii console. It was later announced that EA would not make a NASCAR 10, and the series is currently on hiatus because of a drop in sales and now has lost the license they had with NASCAR since 2003.
Starting in 2010, EA's license to make NASCAR games expired. Gran Turismo 5 features NASCAR in the game with cars from 2010 season and some tracks on the NASCAR schedule; 2011 season cars were added later in an update. Also, iRacing.com and NASCAR started an Online Racing Series which started in 2010 and the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series later that year. iRacing and NASCAR have a close partnership and by the start of the 2014 season, the simulation had every car make/model that has run in Sprint Cup from 2013 and 2014 seasons and every track that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the simulation. Other games that came out with NASCAR licensing after 2010 included Days of Thunder: Arcade (based on Days of Thunder), which is a game sold as a Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network game for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
In 2010, it was confirmed that Eutechnyx will begin creating games based on NASCAR starting in 2011 with NASCAR The Game: 2011. On May 18, 2012, Eutechnyx announced that NASCAR The Game: Inside Line was released on November 6, 2012. Afterwards, Eutechnyx announced two new games: the first NASCAR licensed video game for iOS, and NASCAR The Game: 2013 for Steam. Eutechnyx switched publishers for NASCAR '14 to Deep Silver after having Activision publishing previous games of the NASCAR The Game series. DMi Games was announced to replace Eutechnyx for NASCAR '15 on January 1, 2015.
In January 2015, Dusenberry Martin Racing announced that they will take over the NASCAR license and begin developing new games in 2016, as well as releasing a Eutechnyx-developed update game for the 2015 season. DMR is an American-based company located in the NASCAR Plaza building in Uptown, Charlotte, North Carolina. The company is headed by former Hasbro Interactive CEO Tom Dusenberry (developers of the NASCAR Heat series) and Ed Martin, former executive at Papyrus, Hasbro, Atari, EA Sports, and most recent licensee Eutechnyx. DMR partnered with NASCAR Heat developer Monster Games to create NASCAR Heat Evolution.
Other NASCAR games include Hasbro Interactive's NASCAR Heat; Papyrus' NASCAR Legends, which took players back to the 1970 season, featuring a different point system, and many different tracks. There is also a pinball game. This game was based on the NASCAR Racing 3 engine; EA Sports' NASCAR Revolution (released between NASCAR 99, which came out in 1998, and NASCAR 2000, which came out in 1999); and NASCAR Rumble, an EA game incorporating some of the features of Nintendo's Mario Kart series, but with NASCAR car designs. On June 3, 2009, at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo conference, a trailer for the upcoming PlayStation 3 game Gran Turismo 5 featured NASCAR as one of several new licenses that was included in the game.
|Richard Petty's Talladega||1985||Commodore 64, Atari XL||Cosmi||Electronic Arts|
|Days of Thunder||1990||Amiga, Atari ST, C64, DOS, Game Boy, NES, ZX Spectrum||Argonaut Software||Mindscape Group|
|Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge||April 1991||NES, MS-DOS, Amiga, Macintosh||Konami||Konami|
|NASCAR Racing||1994||PC, Macintosh||Papyrus||Sierra|
|Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing||1995||SNES||Williams Entertainment||Williams Entertainment|
|NASCAR Racing||September 30, 1996||PlayStation||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR Racing 2||November 30, 1996||PC||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR 98||August 31, 1997||Sega Saturn, PlayStation||EA Sports||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR 99||1998||Nintendo 64, PlayStation||Stormfront Studios||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition||1998||PC||Papyrus||Sierra|
|Trivial Pursuit: NASCAR||1999||PC||Hasbro Interactive||Hasbro Interactive|
|NASCAR Revolution||January 31, 1999||PC||Stormfront Studios||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR Craftsman Truck Racing||April 1, 1999||PC||Sierra||Sierra|
|NASCAR Racing 3||August 31, 1999||PC||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR 2000||September 30, 1999||PC,||EA Sports||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR Legends||October 31, 1999||PC||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR Rumble||January 31, 2000||PlayStation||Electronic Arts||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR 2001||September 19, 2000||PlayStation 2,||Black Box||EA Sports|
|NASCAR Heat||September 27, 2000||PlayStation,||Monster Games||Hasbro Interactive|
|NASCAR Racers||2000||PlayStation,||Majesco Entertainment||Majesco Entertainment|
|NASCAR Arcade||2000||Arcade||Sega AM3/Electronic Arts||Sega|
|NASCAR Racing 4||February 6, 2001||PC||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR Thunder 2002||October 2, 2001||PlayStation 2,||EA Sports||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR Heat 2002||November 14, 2001||PlayStation 2,||Monster Games||Atari|
|NASCAR Racing 2002 Season||February 14, 2002||PC, Macintosh||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR Thunder 2003||September 19, 2002||PC,||EA Sports||EA Sports|
|NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona||November 11, 2002||PlayStation 2,||Monster Games||Infogrames|
|NASCAR Racing 2003 Season||February 14, 2003||PC, Macintosh||Papyrus||Sierra|
|NASCAR Thunder 2004||September 16, 2003||PC,||Electronic Arts||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup||August 31, 2004||PlayStation 2,||EA Tiburon||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR SimRacing||February 15, 2005||PC||EA Tiburon||Electronic Arts|
|NASCAR 06: Total Team Control||August 30, 2005||PlayStation 2,||EA Sports||EA Sports|
|NASCAR 07||September 6, 2006||PlayStation 2,||EA Sports||EA Sports|
|NASCAR 08||July 23, 2007||PlayStation 2,||EA Tiburon||EA Sports|
|EA Sports NASCAR Racing||August 3, 2007||Arcade||EA Sports||Global VR|
|NASCAR 09||June 10, 2008||Xbox 360,||EA Tiburon||EA Sports|
|Days of Thunder||February 5, 2009||iPhone||Unknown||Freeverse|
|NASCAR Kart Racing||February 10, 2009||Wii||EA Sports||EA Sports|
|Days of Thunder: Arcade||February 22, 2011||PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade||Piranha Games||Paramount Digital Entertainment|
|NASCAR The Game: 2011||March 29, 2011
May 24, 2011
|PlayStation 3, Xbox 360||Eutechnyx||Eutechnyx and Activision|
|NASCAR Unleashed||November 1, 2011||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS||Firebrand Games||Activision|
|NASCAR The Game: Inside Line||November 6, 2012||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii,||Eutechnyx||Eutechnyx and Activision|
|NASCAR The Game: 2013||July 24, 2013||PC||Eutechnyx||Eutechnyx and Activision|
|NASCAR Red Line||October 3, 2013||iPhone, iPad, Android||Eutechnyx Limited||Eutechnyx Limited and Activision|
|NASCAR '14||February 18, 2014||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows||Eutechnyx||Eutechnyx and Deep Silver|
|NASCAR '15||May 22, 2015||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Steam||Eutechnyx||Deep Silver|
|NASCAR '15 Victory Edition||October 14, 2015||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Steam||Eutechnyx||Dusenberry Martin Racing|
|NASCAR Heat Evolution||September 13, 2016||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows||Monster Games
|NASCAR Heat Mobile||March 8, 2017
April 25, 2017
|iPhone, iPad, Android||704Games||704Games|
|NASCAR Heat 2||September 12, 2017||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows||Monster Games
This list includes games which have a NASCAR license but are not based specifically around it (such as racing simulators with other series/disciplines of racing worked into them, or which have mods which add NASCAR cars and/or tracks).
|Trackmania||November 2003||Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, Wii||Nadeo||Enlight|
|Rigs of Rods||August 5, 2005||Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS||Pierre-Michel Ricordel||OGRE|
|Crashday||February 23, 2006||Microsoft Windows||Replay Studios||Atari|
|FlatOut 2||August 1, 2006||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable||Bugbear Entertainment||Empire Interactive|
|RFactor||August 31, 2006||Microsoft Windows||Image Space Incorporated||Image Space Incorporated|
|ARCA Sim Racing '08||March 5, 2008||Microsoft Windows||The Sim Factory||The Sim Factory|
|IRacing.com||August 26, 2008||PC||IRacing.com||IRacing.com|
|Gran Turismo 5||November 24, 2010||PlayStation 3||Polyphony Digital||Sony|
|Trackmania 2||August 17, 2011||PC||Nadeo||Ubisoft|
|Forza Motorsport 4||October 11, 2011||Xbox 360||Turn 10 Studios||Microsoft Studios|
|Real Racing 3||2013
(1st NASCAR update released September 2015)
|iOS, Android||Firemonkeys||Electronic Arts|
|Gran Turismo 6||December 5, 2013||PlayStation 3||Polyphony Digital||Sony|
|Project CARS||May 8, 2015||PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One||Slightly Mad Studios||Slightly Mad Studios|
|Forza Motorsport 6||September 15, 2015
(NASCAR Expansion released May 17, 2016)
|Xbox One||Turn 10 Studios||Microsoft Studios|
|Forza Motorsport 7||October 3, 2017||Microsoft Windows (Windows 10 only), Xbox One||Turn 10 Studios||Microsoft Studios|