Thunder Alley is a stock car racing game for 2–7 players with the feel and flexibility of a card-driven simulation. Drafting, teamwork, accidents, yellow flags, pit strategy, working to lead laps, and sprints to the finish are all included and bring the feel of racing to the game. Players control not one car, but a team of 3–6 cars. Thus, each race is not only a run for the checkered flag but an effort to maximize the score for every car on your team. Winning is important, but if only one car crosses the finish line, your team might end up outside the winner's circle looking in.
The game includes four different types of movement, often with many cars moving with the play of a single card, and each type has its place and time:
- Solo movement allows you to break away from the pack.
- Draft and pursuit movement are best used for keeping your team of cars together.
- Lead movement can create a pack of cars that moves toward the front.
Turns are fast, each play is important, and the track situation is fluid. The wrong movement in the wrong situation can be disastrous, with you possibly being left out of the draft and all alone. Experienced players will be able to identify the best type of movement for the current situation.