2015 Sprint Cup Series Mod *RELEASED* for NR2003

SprintCupModbWhile it won’t change the physics or make any real difference to how NR2003 handles, Bullring Motorsports have released their 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mod for the aging oval racing sim.

Usually I’d be quick to shit on NR2003 mods, as the Cup2000 mod by TeamOm3ga was a disaster and arguably worse than the default models that shipped with the game, but this latest release by Bullring seems to rectify all of the issues with their previous Generation 6 mod – the cars are now significantly smaller and less boxy.

There’s no better way to demonstrate this than to line the new model up with the old model. The bottom car, from the newly released 2015 mod, is superior in nearly every way.


You can make this fantastic release even better with the NASCAR Racing 5 beta, which will add up-to-date physics for all three major NASCAR series to your NR2003 installation.

NASCAR Racing 5 – Beta Now Available

NR5It’s no secret that for as big as iRacing gets, with over 80,000 active members, that there’s a growing number of people becoming dissatisfied with the sim, voicing their complaints about everything from prominent physics issues, to a moderation system that is heavily biased and sometimes doesn’t work at all.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season has been the primary alternative for virtual oval racers, despite the game being horrendously outdated and several little tweaks required for the game to be kept up to date. Previously, this was accomplished through modders messing with the track.ini files, giving the racing surface less friction, more grip, or in some cases, artificially adjusting the weather for the engines to make more horsepower. The end result was to keep the behavior of the cars relatively in-line with the rule changes NASCAR makes to its top three series each year. While it may seem tedious, NR2003 was unlike rFactor in that the source code and vehicle physics were not easily modified, leaving modders to think outside the box and hex edit the game’s executable file in order to change vehicle dynamics.

iRacing legally pursued some of those modders, as the creator of a 2004 IndyCar mod found out, and a Group C stand-alone mod by Team Redline was pulled from the downloads page after a single day, only to be replaced by a different version that used a poor set of Trans-Am road racing physics that were packed in the original game. The rest of the modding community became scared of civil litigation, and the NR2003 modding scene fell back on simple car skins, model swaps, and add-on tracks.

In late 2014, the tools used to hex edit the game’s executable and develop new sets of physics, the same tools that landed the creators of the IndyCar and Redline GTP mods in hot water were released to the public.

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Over the span of roughly two months, a small group of individuals privately set out to create what would be known internally as NASCAR Racing 5, a complete overhaul of NR2003’s physics that focused on the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series season. Data used for the mod was primarily gathered from the Stock Car Evolution rFactor mod, which was taken from Joe Gibbs Racing.

From the first beta, it was clear why iRacing pursued this section of the modding community legally. The cars had insane amounts of power, insane amounts of downforce, and relied heavily on clean air to handle properly. Lap times and handling characteristics closely aligned with real world data. Setup adjustments were very logical and almost rFactor-like in the way one or two changes could drastically affect how your car handled. Multi-groove racing worked. Aero disturbances played a legitimate role in pack racing dynamics. Road racing instantly displayed why only Watkins Glen and Sonoma were on the schedule – the cars were giant piles of shit. All of iRacing’s shortcomings in the physics department were fixed in a matter of weeks by a bunch of bored kids.

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From what I recall, the “game” went through about three or four versions, all with subtle refinements. During my time testing with a buddy, we went to a different track every few nights, with conditions identical to those that were seen during Friday practice in 2014, and could easily find ourselves in the middle of the real-life leaderboard. In particular, at Watkins Glen, both of us struggled to break into the top 10 and spent a solid two hours hotlapping as if the real world practice sheet was an Assetto Corsa RSR leaderboard. Even more enjoyable was our time at Atlanta, where the surface was so slick and bumpy that running balls-out laps saw us use up every lane of the track surface – and sometimes running up high by the wall was the safest way around.

This accuracy was a nice breath of fresh air compared to what we were used to seeing on iRacing, with everyone hugging the bottom at every 1.5 mile speedway.


Another thing worth pointing out is that the guys behind NR5 were able to dial out the wonky physics that are more commonly know as iRacing’s “New Tire Model” that make all cars on iRacing incredibly sketchy and unpredictable, even in gentle, low speed corners. In a short couple of weeks, some dudes on the internet were able to completely finish a tire model that is still considered heavily WIP by a professional development team. The end result were cars that acted as if they had big sticky contact points at all four corners of the car – also known as Goodyear racing slicks. A lot of people like to claim that harder to driver = more realistic, but a former Xfinity series champion seems to disagree with this sentiment.


Originally, NR5 was meant to be tested even further through a private online league, about fifteen guys or so putting the entirely new physics through their paces in a competitive format. However, the guys behind NR5 were unable to commit to finishing the project, and the league itself switched to vanilla NR2003 at the eleventh hour as many drivers were not experienced enough to develop all new setups for the Generation 6 cars, which were required.

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To the best of my knowledge, development of NR5 has ceased, and only a small amount of people still have this mod on their PC. From what I understand, the physics themselves are almost entirely finished for speedways, short tracks, and road courses. I’m not sure how plate racing was handled, although from one of the beta readmes, you’re supposed to change the “track type” line in the track.ini file to “4”, and the “chassis type” line in the track.ini file to “0”. There are no force feedback changes or anything fancy like that, so those who just can’t get into NR2003 due to its age – this won’t magically change your opinion of the game.

2014 tech specifications are also reflected in the Garage screen – none of your previous setups will work.

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You will need BullRing’s Generation 6 mod, any Nationwide COT mod, and a 2014 Camping World Truck Series mod to get the most out of this download, as all three physics sets (Cup, GNS, and CTS) are changed to 2014 specs. You will also need relevant carsets and updated 2014 tracks.

This download consists of the modified executable file (that’s literally all this mod is) and a few different car setups to get you started at a few different tracks. Put the setups in your Player folder and NR5.exe inside the main game directory. Run NR5.exe. You’ll know if you did it right if you get a different splash screen.

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NASCAR Racing 5 can be found HERE.

An updated version of the executable can be found HERE.

Redline GTP – the mod Papyrus didn’t want you to see


My memory has faded and the exact details of the launch and controversy surrounding it have been lost to the sands of time, but in early 2005, after it had been announced that Papyrus would venture off into the unknown and eventually create iRacing, numerous NR2003 modders would attempt to turn the NASCAR sim into a platform for many different types of racing disciplines.

Through a joint operation that saw lawsuits get thrown at a few different individuals for violating NDA’s and certain terms of the End-User License Agreement, one of the results of the ugliness surrounding the NR2003 modding scene was the Redline GTP mod.

Requiring a clean, alternate install of NR2003, patched to version, the original version of the Redline GTP mod featured the four most prolific cars of late 80’s Group C Endurance racing – as well as an EXE that was illegal to create BUT not illegal to freely distribute. The mod, created largely in part by Redline Developments, a subsidary of Team Redline, significantly altered NR2003’s default physics in an effort to accurately simulate Group C Prototypes. During the development of the mod, Redline also discovered unused lines of code in the exe that hinted Papyrus was hard at work at implementing some sort of fog and rain system, among other things.

Even though it is dated by today’s standards, the original Redline GTP v1.0 mod is a fantastic look at the capability of the GPL engine. These cars are an absolute blast to drive, even with prehistoric FFB effects and graphics that simply don’t cut it in 2015. They have an insane amount of downforce, hit ridiculous speeds, and have much more realistic slip angles than what you’ve seen in the vanilla game.

The mod was quickly pulled down after legal threats from FIRST Racing – whom you now know as iRacing. During the development of NR2003, certain members of iRacing were able to copyright the source code to NR2003, effectively preventing people from editing and distributing what we now call “stand-alone mods”.

A short while later, the mod was re-uploaded as “Redline GTP v1.1″. The mod was quickly converted back into the format that Papyrus allowed, and instead of using the completely custom physics as the original, the four Group C cars were relegated to use the Project Wildfire Trans-Am (pta) physics, effectively making this no different than any other NR2003 road racing mod.

Modding NR2003’s .exe file to alter the handling of cars in-game is not illegal, which is what the Redline GTP mod is. However, it was entirely possible to crack the .exe on top of changing the game’s physics to your liking – effectively making it possible to redistribute an entirely different game, using NR2003’s source code, without requiring people to own NR2003. You could not release something like iDT’s Champcar Challenge using NR2003.

iRacing took this issue to court and pressed even further, claiming third party modders using NR2003 as a base could potentially surpass the quality of what they themselves could do with iRacing, and it would “take away potential sales.”

The results, again lost to the sands of time on RaceSimCentral, show iRacing lost to these individuals in court. However, due to the age group of most people involved with modding an obscure NASCAR game, iRacing’s bully tactics were enough to scare people off from ever daring to make anything for NR2003 that wasn’t a paint scheme or a track.

Eleven years later, the EULA and all other issues related to modding NR2003 are no longer valid.

Thanks to AllNR2003, here’s the original Redline GTP mod, in all it’s glory.

The mod includes detailed instructions and you’d be wise to read it.

Here’s how to add more tracks to the mod (it’s a little light on the track roster)