NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup is the eighth installment of the EA Sports' NASCAR video game series. It was developed by EA Tiburon and released on August 31, 2004 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox and on September 4, 2004 for the GameCube. NASCAR 2005 is the first game in the series to drop the word Thunder from the title since NASCAR 2001. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy Monte Carlo, appeared on the cover. It also marks the first time the original PlayStation has been excluded from the NASCAR lineup. This was the first NASCAR edition to be released exclusively on six generation home consoles.
Unlike previous entries, which would normally add a few extra features but leave most of the game identical to its predecessor, the game brought massive change to the series. One example is the inclusion of NASCAR series other than the NEXTEL Cup Series; the National Series (Busch Series), the Craftsman Truck Series, and the Featherlite Modified Series, plus muscle cars. More examples include the implementation of NASCAR's new Chase for the Cup points system, and Fight to the Top mode, where you control a custom driver throughout his career starting in the lower series and working up the ladder (similar to NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona). Another change is the absence of the cockpit view and the absence of makes and models in the Truck series, all of which appear to be Ford F-150s. This was the last NASCAR game released for the Nintendo GameCube.
While a large number of real drivers are present in the NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series, and Craftsman Truck Series in NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup, fantasy drivers are still present, sponsored by ficitional or unused sponsors. However, the Whelen Modified Tour is entirely made up of Fantasy drivers. Dale Earnhardt is the only legend in the game and can be unlocked by buying his Thunder Plate or via cheat code.
Lightning Challenge mode includes challenges of moments that happened in NASCAR from 2003 and the 1st part of 2004. Michael Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Chevrolet, returns as the commentator for all the challenges except for two, Kevin Harvick does the challenges that involve Michael being the driver in the challenge. These challenges are played on all difficulty levels. The player must beat a number of challenges at that difficulty level before going to the next difficulty level.
NASCAR Thunder 2004
| Succeeded by|
NASCAR 06: Total Team Control