In February 2001, NASCAR Racing 4 was released. This simulation was a dramatic improvement over its predecessor. Finally, the physics model was based on the one used in Grand Prix Legends.
This proved to be a huge step forward in the realism of the sim, but because of that, it was much, much harder to control the car than in the previous incarnations.
This made the newly developed European online NASCAR racing scene shake on its foundations. Yellow flags dominated the average league race, taking much of the fun out of them. Some drivers thought the new simulation was just too hard to race online.
However, as time went by, the drivers have learned, the scene has recovered, and in hindsight the new engine has been a great improvement for online NASCAR racing as we know it.
[this is not the complete text] 2000/05/03 "With an entirely new, ground breaking physics engine, NASCAR(r) Racing 4 offers everyone a chance to climb into a NASCAR(r) Winston Cup car with their PC and enjoy a riveting experience unmatched by any other driving sim," said Jim Veevaert, vice-president of marketing for Sierra Studios. "Papyrus Founder, Dave Kaemmer, introduces the novice to the fun and excitement of racing, but steeps the expert in all the subtleties and strategies of the NASCAR(r) racing experience, learning what the drivers know." NASCAR(r) Racing 4 features the drivers and teams from the 2000 NASCAR(r) Winston Cup and NASCAR(r) Busch Series, Grand National Division. NASCAR(r) Racing 4 showcases a revolutionary new 3D physics model that adds realism to the reactions of the cars - with body rolls, the ability to become airborne, and tires that spin and lock up. The cars also feature a virtual 3D cockpit that allows you to look left and right, has dynamic arm and steering wheel movement - enhancing the immersive quality of the game. To further improve the ease of the experience, the interactive user interface includes pop-up help for car setup and configuration options. Other driver aids include a novice mode with steering and stability control, traction control to limit wheel spin, and antilock brakes. The new hardware-only 32-bit graphics engine allows for real-time reflection maps and shadows, higher frame rate, and smooth slow-motion replay. New 3D AI modeling allows for a formidable field of realistic competitors. "NASCAR(r) Racing 4 allows up to 32 drivers to race online with robust LAN and Internet support, which is up to eight times the number of players other racing sims can support," said Scott Stutsman, producer at Papyrus. "These multiplayer capabilities, our revolutionary 3D physics model and new 32 bit graphics engine are just some of the features that exemplify how Papyrus continues to raise the bar for our competitors."