How to run NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition on Windows 10 using DOSBox

As a teenager, I spent innumerable hours playing Papyrus’s NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition and its predecessor, NASCAR Racing 2. I never had a steering wheel and pedals, but I managed to keyboard my way around Richmond, Atlanta, and the other tracks included with the games.

Running NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition on Windows 98 was easy: insert CD, install, and drive off into the night. As the years have passed, however, the game has proven to be rather less compatible with modern operating systems. Sure, I could still install it on Windows 7, but running the game with its limited color palette and maximum resolution of 640×480 pixels made my monitors do some interesting things, to say the least.

I recently saw a post in which someone mentioned successfully running NASCAR Racing 2 on Windows 10 using a program called DOSBox, an x86 emulator designed primarily with old games in mind. The individual didn’t say exactly how they did it, but NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition is essentially NASCAR Racing 2 with trucks and additional tracks. Since I still have the original game CD, I decided to look into DOSBox’s documentation and figure out how to make it happen.

Although this guide deals specifically with NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition, the same basic process should work for running NASCAR Racing 2; however, some directory and file names may differ.

Setup

  1. Download and install DOSBox. I used version 0.74.
  2. In Windows Explorer, browse to %userprofile%\Documents and create a folder called DOSGames. Within that new folder, create a subfolder called NR1999.
  3. Insert the NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition CD in your computer’s optical drive, then copy the contents of the nr1999 folder on the CD to %userprofile%\Documents\DOS Games\NR1999.
  4. Copy the following subfolders from the nros\nros\tracks folder on the CD to %userprofile%\Documents\DOSGames\NR1999\tracks. These tracks are not used by any of the game’s default seasons, but you can manually add them to a season data file.
    • BULLRUN
    • POCONO
    • REDROCK
    • RICHMOND
    • WILKES
  5. Start DOSBox. At the prompt, enter exit.
  6. Browse to %localappdata%\DOSBox and create a copy of dosbox-0.74.conf. Next, edit dosbox-0.74.conf to add this line at the end of the file: MOUNT C "C:\Users\username\Documents\DOSGames" This causes DOSBox to automatically mount the DOSGames folder as its C: drive.
  7. Start DOSBox again. At the prompt, enter c:.
  8. Enter cd nr1999 to switch to the directory where the game files are stored.
  9. To enable sound, enter soundset at the prompt. Click “Autodetect Sound Card,” then click “Exit” once your computer’s sound card has been detected.
  10. Enter nr1999 to start the game.
  11. After the game starts, click “Options” and go to the “Graphics” screen. Turn on all textures, and, if desired, increase the number of “Opponents Drawn Ahead”; I set mine to 25.
  12. Go to the “Controls” screen and disable all driving aids. If you have a wheel and pedals, joystick, or gamepad, you can configure and calibrate them at this time. (Read on for a note on gamepad configuration.)

Running the game

  1. Start DOSBox. At the prompt, enter c:.
  2. Enter cd nr1999 to switch to the directory where the game files are stored.
  3. Enter nr1999 to start the game.
  4. Press CTRL + F10 at any time to free your mouse from the DOSBox window. Type exit at the prompt to close DOSBox.

Gamepad configuration

I own a Logitech Dual Action Gamepad. I’m not necessarily recommending that particular controller over your controller of choice, but when I was looking for a gamepad for a different game a few years back, it was inexpensive, and it’s what I have.

The gamepad is a good bit newer than NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition. Perhaps that’s why, on the “Controls” screen within the game, the shoulder buttons on the front of the gamepad don’t register when pressed. Both sticks work, and the buttons on the top of the gamepad near the right stick work, but not the shoulder buttons. I had the same problem with the game installed directly on Windows 7, so I think this is an incompatibility between the game and the controller instead of a problem with DOSBox.

Since I wanted to use one of the sticks for accelerating and braking and the other for steering, that left only the buttons on top of the gamepad available for shifting gears, but they’re not conveniently located for that purpose. Thankfully, DOSBox has a keymapping feature that does recognize when the shoulder buttons are pressed, and can pass that information along to the game itself.

To launch the keymapper, I pressed CTRL + F1. I clicked “z,” then at the bottom of the screen clicked “Add,” and pressed the top left shoulder button. I repeated that process to assign the top right shoulder button to “x.”

After exiting the keymapper, I started the game again. The left and right fire buttons then registered when pressed on the “Controls” screen. Success!

Summary

NASCAR Racing 1999 Edition has long been supplanted by newer, shinier racing games, but the nostalgia is strong for me. The graphics are extremely dated, to be sure, but even running in a tiny window, the game is still just as much fun as it was back in 1999.

If you want to replicate my setup, here’s what you need:

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