NASCAR Thunder 2002 is the fifth game in the NASCAR series of video games, and is the first of the series to have a new title (the other games simply read "NASCAR" and then the year). Notably, it is the first NASCAR game to feature alternate paint schemes on the cars. It featured the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon on its cover and 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte on the disc. The theme song for the game is Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
NASCAR Thunder 2002 was the first NASCAR game released for the Xbox and the second released for the PlayStation 2. Game modes consist of Create-a-car, Quick race, Season mode, Career mode, and practice. Before every race, the player has the option to qualify for a position at the start of the race, get to know the track in practice, or 'race' other cars in Happy Hour. The game has 35 drivers from the 2001 Winston Cup season (minus Dale Earnhardt due to his death, but the game has many tributes to him including a black #3 screen on start-up) and several then-Busch Series and fantasy drivers that can be unlocked.
The PlayStation 1 edition was separate from the rest, and included an instant-replay feature, fantasy tracks, and only 36 drivers per race. A system of power-up/cheat cards and challenges, similar to Chase Cards and Lightning/Dodge Challenges in later editions, was a major game mode in this version.
Source: Wikipedia, "NASCAR Thunder 2002", available under the CC-BY-SA License.