NASCAR Thunder 2002 is a racing simulator video game developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports that came out for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The theme song for the game is Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It 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.
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) and more drivers that can be unlocked.