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North American PlayStation cover art
|Series||EA Sports NASCAR series|
|Mode(s)||Single Player, Multiplayer|
The original (non-collector's edition) version included 24 NASCAR cars and drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, John Andretti, and Terry Labonte; 10 official NASCAR tracks, including Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and the then Sears Point International Speedway, the short track at Suzuka Japan, and six fantasy circuits; and in-depth car setups. One player could race with all 24 cars or two players could race with 8 cars on the track. There were single-race and Championship Season game modes, and gameplay settings allowed you to race with varying levels of race length, AI difficulty, and the realisticity of the simulation, among other settings.
NASCAR '98 included an instant replay feature, allowing the user to view the racing of his/her car back until about 30 seconds before the racing action was paused. It could be watched from any of several 'camera angles', such as front, back, left, right, top, and rotating. Non-user cars could not be focused on in instant replays.
Damage, wrecks, and cautions
NASCAR '98 had a limited damage system. Portions of the car would appear to "dent" inward after contact, but otherwise nothing changed graphically. A hard enough impact might result in a mechanical failure, or a tire in the region hit hardest might come loose from the car. AI cars would stop immediately after contact, while user cars would stop accelerating until they slowed to a near stop or made contact with a wall or other car. Non-contact random damage consisted of an engine failure, in which white smoke would pour out from behind the AI car, which would slow down and pull to the inside of the track, heading for the pit lane. User cars could not blow an engine.
Cars could flip, but only after contact with another car and then only rear over front. A car would be taken out of the race shortly after a flip in the same way it would after a lost tire.
A caution flag would appear after an AI car was taken out of the race. A blue tow truck would appear in front of the broken car, and the field would gather into a line just long enough for all the cars to line up. Pitting under caution was not an option, and most cautions did not last a whole lap except at Bristol.
In the main menu, there was an option to view the a small profile about each driver, featuring a small picture of the driver, a small rotating version of their car, a short biography, and that user's stats for racing with that driver.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASCAR, a collector's edition for PlayStation with a new cover featuring a black and white picture of one of Richard Petty's 3rd generation (1971–1974) Dodge Chargers racing modern 1998 cars of the day. Additions to the game included 'King of NASCAR' Richard Petty in his trademark No. 43 car and Darlington Raceway, the original super speedway. The game came with a NASCAR 50th anniversary key chain as well.
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