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NASCAR Thunder 2004 (PlayStation 2, Xbox)

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Title Screen

NASCAR Thunder 2004

Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox
Released in US: September 16, 2003

CharacterIcon.png This game has unused playable characters.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.

BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

NASCAR Thunder 2004 bids farewell to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series name and the full-season championship points format with the Alliances and Grudges system, as well as various fantasy tracks making their debuts on the PS2/Xbox versions.

It's also notorious for a Lightning Challenge that is harder than any of the Gran Turismo license tests: the Johnny Benson 2002 Rockingham win reenactment, named "It's About Time".

To do:
Verify directly if Brian Vickers has an unused starting grid voice clip (rather than rely on stuff from NASCAR SimRacing's unused sounds, though that does help with here), since the Ron Hornaday call is used instead.


Read about notable bugs and errors in this game.
NASCAR Thunder 2003 Leftovers
Leftover calls from the previous season's game.

Cheat Codes

Several cheat codes are in the files that aren't documented anywhere else. These work like the cheat codes to unlock Dale Earnhardt and fantasy drivers in NASCAR Thunder 2003.

Create-A-Car Name
(case sensitive)
theman inblack Unlock Dale Earnhardt
new paintjob Unlock all prefab schemes (for player-created cars)
race thebest Unlock The All-Star
shoot itout Unlock The Shootout
right track Unlock all tracks and events except for The All-Star and The Shootout

Unused Drivers

Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.

Car textures exist for four cut drivers: Tony Raines (#74 Staff America Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (#38 Great Clips Ford, Busch Series driver), Hideo Fukuyama (#66 Kikkoman Ford), and Paul Menard (#33 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet). Raines, in addition to appearing in some of the game's trailer and NASCAR 101 videos, also has a number texture and even a driver portrait, suggesting that he was a late removal from the game, while Fukuyama's and Menard's car textures only exist in rookie striped variants, as the game stores car textures with rookie stripes and without separately.

There are also blank placeholder schemes for #8 (two, one labeled "B-Primary 2003" and the other labeled "B-Alt 1 2003" on the hood), #63, and #92 Chevrolets (both labeled "B-Primary 2003"), as well as a #54 Ford (labeled "Primary 2003"). The #92 Chevrolet and #54 Ford are likely for Todd Bodine's cars, while the #63 Chevrolet might be for Shane Hall. The #8 Chevrolets might have been for Hank Parker Jr. (a Chance 2 Motorsports driver in 2003), due to them being marked as Busch Series schemes and the fact Parker did run different schemes throughout the Busch Series season. It is also worth noting that the #54 placeholder texture is only available as a rookie texture, much like Fukuyama's and Menard's schemes.

(Discovery: @RaddyCS999 (Raines/Kahne, Fukuyama/Menard, blank placeholders))

Some cut fantasy drivers can also be found, namely Troi Hayes (#125 Chevrolet; an update from the NASCAR Thunder 2003 version where Advance Auto Parts replaces Prestone as primary sponsor), Katrina Goode (#136 Pontiac; cut due to M&M's departing MB2 Motorsports, as that paint scheme refers to both MB2 cars in 2002; Goode's textures were not updated for the 2003-spec Grand Prix either), Jim Hannigan (#129 Dodge; a slight update from the "NASCAR Thunder 2003" version as the sponsor has been updated to the current game from the previous one, Crissy Hillsworth (#113 Ford), and George Dennis (#112 Chevrolet).

Unused Portraits

There are several placeholder driver portraits that are hidden in the files. Most of these are for drivers that appeared in NASCAR Thunder 2003, except for the late Dale Earnhardt and Jason Leffler. The NT2003 leftovers (but not NT2002 leftovers) also has placeholder text on them.

Note that John Andretti has no leftover portrait, as his portrait was overwritten with Christian Fittipaldi's due to the late nature of the driver change.

Unused Audio

To do:
  • Convert the audio calls uploaded by Grand Prix to ogg.
  • Get NASCAR.DB IDs for driver calls.

Pre-Race Driver Intros

Ron Hornaday has struggled so far in his NASCAR Winston Cup career, but as his past racing experience shows he could turn things around at any moment.

Ron Hornaday has a pre-race driver introduction by the radio commentators, despite being only a Busch Series driver in the game. This is actually a leftover from NASCAR Thunder 2003, where it also went unused. Interestingly enough, it was rerecorded with the PRN announcer.

It is worth noting that in all audio commentary, tobacco (Winston) and alcohol (Busch) series title sponsorships are always explicitly mentioned.

Driver Calls

The voice clips for the following cut drivers would have been used with generic pit lane intros in Season and Career modes.

Driver Voice Notes
A.J. Alsup
Butch Miller
Dwayne Leik
The PRN announcer mispronounces his last name both times.
Jaime Guerrero
Jeff Fultz
Jimmy Spencer
There are two audio files regarding Spencer, with the first file (labelled 00000296.avc in the files) being grouped with the Busch series drivers (which would have been used for his #1 Yellow Freight Dodge) and the second (labelled 000002eb.avc) being grouped with NT2003 leftover files, which given it would have been for his Cup version, would have been used for the #7 Sirius Dodge, a notable omission from the game due to his high-profile feud with Kurt Busch during the 2003 Winston Cup season.
John Andretti
Would have been drove the #43 Dodge, but he was released by Petty Enterprises after the June Michigan race. As it was too late in development to record a voice clip for his replacement, Christian Fittipaldi, the latter is only mentioned as "The Cheerios Dodge" (the car's primary sponsor) in generic season/career mode intros. Although the file is grouped with NT2003 leftovers, given that there is no call for Fittipaldi, this may have been intended to be a reused asset from NT2003.
Josh Richeson
Kasey Kahne
Has playable assets, as mentioned above. The PRN announcer mispronounces his last name in the first call. Grouped with NT2003 leftovers, as his call went unused in that game as well.
Kerry Earnhardt
Grouped with NT2003 leftovers, as he was cut in that game as well.
Larry Gunselman
No PRN call.
Mark Green
Mike McLaughlin
Grouped with NT2003 leftovers, as his call went unused in that game as well.
Mike Wallace
Grouped with NT2003 leftovers, as he was cut in that game as well.
P.J. Jones
Ron Young
Todd Bodine
Would have been used for his #54 National Guard Ford in Winston Cup and #92 unsponsored Chevrolet in Busch Series. Placeholder assets for his cars are in the game data, as mentioned above. No PRN call, and curiously only one audio file despite having Cup and Busch cars planned.
Tony Raines
Has playable assets, as mentioned above. Is also grouped with NT2003 leftovers.


Infineon Night Pit Stalls

Some of the rearmost pit stalls in the night version of Infineon Raceway, for some reason, has pit stall logos from 2001 season, as used in NASCAR Thunder 2002 (it is worth noting that the track in question is different in that game, as it was reconfigured in 2002 to eliminate Gilligan's Island, the track's secondary pit road). In particular, in a case of a cross-game cut content leftover, one of the pit stalls has a McDonalds Drive-Thru logo and number #96, belonging to Andy Houston, a driver that does not appear in NASCAR Thunder 2002, while another stall has corrupted graphics. It is unknown to what driver the corrupted graphics would have belonged to.

It is worth noting this oddity did not occur in NASCAR Thunder 2003, where fantasy time-of-day variations of certain tracks (like this one) debuted.

Andy Houston Corrupted Pit Stall
NT2004 Infineon Night Andy Houston Pit Box.png NT2004 Infineon Night Unknown Pit Box.png
(Discovery: Mark Oliveras Enterprises/AutoRockinRacing94)

Talladega Night Map

NT2004 Inverted Talladega Night.png

The track selection map used for the night version of Talladega Superspeedway appears to be orientated the opposite of the regular, daytime version.

NT2004 Winston Cup Martinsville Menu 1.png
NT2004 Winston Cup Martinsville Menu 2.png

Although the uncensored NASCAR Winston Cup Series logo in the Daytona Infield track was edited out in this game, there is another instance of uncensored Winston Cup logo in this game, found within the menu backgrounds that depict the Martinsville Speedway.

This can be easily seen by highlighting Kitt Paint while selecting a driver, as that car has no car number graphics.

Pontiac Branding

For the 2003 season, in what turned out to be their final season of participation in NASCAR, Pontiac introduced a new font in their branding. However, all Pontiac cars in the game (existing, fantasy, or custom) continue to use the previous season's Pontiac font for the manufacturer typoface and the Grand Prix model branding. The pace car (Buster Auton) does have updated Grand Prix model branding (but not Pontiac manufacturer branding) on it, however.

Kitt Paint

NT2004 Kitt Paint.png

Despite being a fantasy driver lacking a driver portrait, Kitt Paint has the frame for driver portrait shown when required, such as when the car is being shown in driver selection screen.

Casey Mears

NT2004 Casey Mears inconsistency.png

Casey Mears' menu car number graphics uses a different number font from what he actually uses in his car, an issue also present in NASCAR Thunder 2003 (when the #41 was driven by Jimmy Spencer). To boot, the car number font Mears uses in the game is actually the 2002 number font; Chip Ganassi Racing used a different font for the #41 in the 2003 season.

Tina Gordon

NT2004 Tina Gordon contigency.png

Tina Gordon, despite being a Busch Series driver, incorrectly uses Winston Cup Series contingency decals on her car.