Graphics are improved well enough to eliminate panels blinking in and out of existence and enable better vehicle damage. Damaged panels and blown tires either crumble in place or fly off to become obstacles. Tracks also maintain a bit more wear and tear throughout a race with more scrapes, lingering smoke clouds and additional motion blur around the edges to help things feel a li'l more speedy.
While racing online we did notice that two of the smaller changes we like really irk the more experienced NASCAR game fans.
The first is that you can now pass on the apron - the area outside the track opposite the wall that is technically out of bounds - without a drastic loss of speed or control. That's great for those who are less adept in the ways of the mini joystick but grating to those who like to stick to the rules.
The second is that you cannot bring tweaked-out cars online, which forces everyone to race with the same car. A newbie with nimble fingers won't have to worry that Long-Haul Harry unlocked every beneficial car part, only thathe or she isbetter behind the wheel.
Get close to the car in front of you and, besides borrowing their wind by drafting, you can now also use an Intimidator command to virtually stare them down, forcing them to move out of your way and become a cranky. The next few times you see them on the road, however, they'll likely block your pass attempts.
The combination of changing driver attributes, loose car controls and more aggressive AI rivals makes for many more crashes which lead to sudden changes in position.