The fight for NASCAR's ultimate title is on the line.
First off, let me say I am not a racing fan. I don't despise it, but it is just a sport that doesn't float the old boat. However, if I were, NASCAR Winston Cup 2002 would certainly be a welcome addition to my DVD collection.
This two-disc set is crammed silly with everything Winston Cup. At well over three hours, the stuff on this disc will no doubt satiate even the most throttle-starved race fans.
All 36 races are on display here, but it should be noted that they aren't shown in their entirety. Of course, if that had been the case I would conjecture the set would grow from two discs to about 48.
Each race is given an overview, with highlights and narration; basically, Winston Cup 2002 gives you the Cliff's Notes on each event. For a rookie race fan, this set would be ideal to catch up on all of the year's happenings, letting him or her jaw with other race fans with confidence.
Yet for the seasoned NASCAR viewer, I would hazard that this would be more of a "reacquainting" with races—for the most part, perhaps—already experienced in real time. Ken Squier's narration then would almost be telling the devotees (to whom this disc is surely marketed toward) what they probably already know.
The presentation here is top-notch. From the opening menu on, it is obvious that this set was crafted by and for fans of the sport. Little elements in the menu system really "drive" this home (okay, that one was obvious); from the aggressive background music to the ignition sounds when each menu item is selected, the fondness for NASCAR really drips off the front end here.
The race vignettes themselves are in-depth and narrated with zeal by Squier. Each one keeps the viewer abreast of the standings and drama associated with the respective races.
Bonus features on the disc, however, are surprisingly lean. You get an interview with champion (spoiler ahead!) Tony Stewart, a video on "The Winston," a sort-of All-star racing event, and a list of 10-point winners.
Disc Two features the Road to Daytona 2003, and is mapped out in a similar fashion as the papa disc. Again, races are abridged and summarized, detailing significant aspects. Interestingly enough, Disc Two sports a few more bonus items, including some on-the-scene footage with Richard Petty, a Saliva music video, a look at next year's title contenders, and a conversation with Daytona champ Michael Waltrip.
All in all, NASCAR Images has created a jam-packed compendium of Winston Cup action. And seeing that NASCAR is very prominent in the collectible market, I wonder if the studio could have simply trained a camera on a lug-wrench for 198 minutes, and it still would have been scooped up (this observation springs from the fact I tend to see "NASCAR Collectible" signs every 200 yards). But they didn't, opting instead to put out a well-done, "exhaust"ive (right, that one is really bad) run-down of last year's main event.
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