Pedal to the Metal Challenge winner announced

Tight last-minute finish caps GameSpot Tournament TV's NASCAR SimRacing tournament.


Even with a last-minute bump, Car #107, driven by James Butler, finished first to win the $1,250 gift certificate to, the grand prize given in GameSpot Tournament TV's NASCAR SimRacing Pedal to the Metal Challenge. Car #28, driven by Michael Zitzke, finished second, winning him a $750 gift certificate, and Car #40, driven by Scott Smith, finsihed third, for a $500 gift certificate.

After the qualifiers, cars #40 and #21 were in front. A crash early on broke up much of the back pack, and by lap 10 of 40, there was a clear front four: #107, #40, #28, and #19. These four would hold the front place for much of the race. Some early weaving ended up pushing cars #28 and #19 back a bit, and by lap 20, #107 had moved into the lead.

Only a few laps later, however, a wall bump caused #107 and #40 to get pushed back. For a while, it looked as though #107 and #40 were going to be out of the running, being far enough behind so as to not be visible in the rearview cam of the pack leaders, #28 and #19.

Three laps later, #107 and #40 were staging a comeback, making up half a lap to bring them back into the running. A few laps more and #107 reclaimed his lead, then competed with car #40 for much of the remaining race. In an attempt to pass, car #28 bumped against a wall, overcorrected, and smacked into car #19, who swerved off the road and was taken out of the running. Judges declared this was a legal crash.

Toward the end, lap traffic smacked into car #40, who recovered and regained his composure, but lost the lead. At the very end, some last-minute shoving ended up causing the lead cars to spin out, but only after they were across the finish line.

James Butler, the winner, said he races more than 20 hours a week in NASCAR SimRacing, and has cofounded his own league. "Nothing prepares you better than racing with tremendous competition," Butler said.

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