It took Toyota over four years and 78 races to score their first Champ Car win although judging by Juan Montoya's performance in the rain-delayed Miller Lite 225 that statistic is hard to believe.

The Target/Chip Ganassi driver led the race from pole position and led an astonishing 179 of the 225 laps around the one mile oval. The Colombian had an answer to almost everything his rivals threw at him, only loosing the lead during the pit-stops.

"I'm really happy," said the Colombian. "We've been very unlucky in the last few races. I think it was very good to win for Toyota and Target. I'm really glad to win for Toyota because they've worked so hard."

Montoya's win makes him the sixth different winner in as many Champ Car races this year and vaults him right into the thick of the title picture with 14 races remaining in the series. The victory also marked Lola's 92nd triumph in the CART championship and their first as chassis suppliers to the Chip Ganassi team.

Despite Montoya's dominance the race was anything but dull and a whopping 19 of the 23 starters were still running at the end, an incredible amount considering the tight confines of the Milwaukee circuit.

Montoya was in control from the very start, sprinting ahead of fellow front row starter Dario Franchitti at the green flag and quickly building up a lead in the opening 20 laps. Franchitti had his hands full with the resurgent Patrick Carpentier who is now completely recovered after injuring his wrist in a domestic accident. Behind these two Gil De Ferran, Paul Tracy and Milwaukee expert Michael Andretti were doing battle for fourth place, Andretti having risen from tenth place at the start.

With all 23 cars still circulating, it was not long before the leaders began to encounter backmarkers and while Montoya was able to slip through without problem, Franchitti got bottled up behind Shinji Nakano which allowed Carpentier to nip through into second. A little further back Andretti muscled his way past Tracy in turn three only to watch Nakano spin harmlessly infront of him coming onto the front stretch. Andretti managed to avoid the gyrating machine and the race came under its first caution flag just before the 30 lap mark.

As Montoya watched his three second lead evaporate, nine drivers at the tail end of the lead lap chose to make a re-fuelling stop, knowing that just two more stops would see them through until the end. Roberto Moreno, Jimmy Vasser, Helio Castroneves, Kenny Brack, Adrian Fernandez, Cristiano Da Matta, Mark Blundell, Alex Tagliani and Michel Jourdain Jr all dived into the pits but were able to stay on the lead lap.

The field circulated behind the pace car for several laps and when they were unleashed Montoya found himself defending his position from a very determined Carpentier who in turn had Franchitti and De Ferran crawling all over his gearbox. Andretti and Tracy led the chasing pack, consisting of Christian Fittipaldi, Max Papis, Mauricio Gugelmin, Tony Kanaan, Oriol Servia and Tarso Marques. The best placed of those who had pitted was Moreno who was 13th.

Over the next 30 laps Montoya was not allowed to rest for a second as Carpentier continued to pile on the pressure. The Canadian could smell his first Champ Car win and was relentlessly challenging for a way past. Franchitti had dropped back by about two seconds and watching from a safe distance, keeping one eye on De Ferran in his mirrors.

For once traffic was not an issue because, with the exception of Nakano and Luiz Garcia Jr, the entire field was lapping within two tenths of a second of one another!

Gradually Montoya reeled in the backmarkers and on lap 60, the 25'000 strong crowd who took the day off work to see the race were treated to a high speed game of chess. Montoya came up to lap a gaggle of cars including Blundell, Jourdain Jr and Tagliani. First in line was Tagliani who, of course is Carpentier's team-mate in the Player's Forsythe outfit. There is an unwritten rule in CART which states that a driver can defend his line from the leaders as long as he is still on the lead lap and not drastically slower than them. Tagliani used this rule to his, and Capentier's advantage as he pressed on, not allowing Montoya to get too close to him. This in turn brought Carpentier even closer to the leader and as the first scheduled pit-stops approached Montoya found himself in a Player's Forsythe sandwich.

As the top six closed up once again De Ferran found a way past Franchitti on the back straight and was soon harrying Carpentier for second. However De Ferran's injection of pace was soon explained as on lap 76 he became the first of the leaders to duck into the pits. A good stop by the Penske crew was spoiled when the Nazareth winner was slow to get away, dropping to 20th position.

During the next seven laps all those who hadn't stopped earlier in the race made their fuel stops with Montoya being the last to pit, making his fuel last until lap 83. The Colombian emerged I tenth place, directly ahead of Carpentier and De Ferran but behind Andretti who had been stunningly quick on his first five laps out of the pits on full tanks and cold tyres.

As Montoya pitted, Moreno now found himself in the lead in Pat Patrick's Reynard-Ford. The Brazilian had scored points in all but one race so far this year and over the next 25 laps he maintained a comfortable three second lead over Vasser in the second Ganassi car. At this point Castroneves had risen to third ahead of Brack, Fernandez, Blundell and Da Matta however Andretti led the 'other' race in tenth place.

All those out of sequence were now praying for a caution so they could make their stops under yellow and remain on the lead lap. However by lap 100 no caution was forthcoming and their tanks were beginning to run dry. On lap 103 Castroneves could not continue and peeled into the pit-lane to get a full tank of methanol while out on the circuit Montoya passed Andretti for tenth and the 'lead; of the race.

Vasser and Blundell were next in as Moreno continued to lead although Brack and Fernandez were now in close company. It was obvious that Moreno was trying to eke out the best fuel mileage possible but he ran the mixture too lean and on lap 108 Brack and Fernandez swept by to take 1st and 2nd. Moreno stuttered into the pit-lane but his last lap was slow and he only emerged in 17th place. Fernandez and Brack disputed the lead with renewed vigour for the next three laps until both were forced to pit allowing the race to resume a semblance of order.

One driver sadly not amongst the order was Tagliani who suffered a brief fire in his pit stall which saw his refuelling man knocked to the ground. The crewman was OK but Tagliani's day was done.

With 100 miles remaining, Montoya now resumed his customary position at the front of the field but had Andretti, Carpentier, De Ferran and Tracy breathing down his neck. Franchitti had dropped to sixth and was five seconds behind, struggling with a badly handling car, and just ahead of Papis. Fittipaldi was still running strongly in the second Newman-Haas car in eighth followed by Gugelmin, Servia, Fernandez and Kanaan who were the only other unlapped runners. Vasser was the first man a lap down in 13th although he was still lapping on the same pace as his team-mate, as were all the other drivers down to Jourdain Jr in 20th.

As the race neared its final 75 laps, Montoya had established a two second lead over Andretti and it was quite clear that the race had come down to a battle between of the fuel strategies. Amazingly there had only been one caution all afternoon and a yellow any time within the next 30 laps could make or break the race for many drivers.

It appeared as though Andretti's impressive form on full tanks had not done his consumption figures any good and he chose to pit under the green on lap 153, emerging 15th. De Ferran followed suit a lap later from what had become third place, that place now went to Tracy while the Penske driver dropped to 17th. Franchitti and Fittipaldi were the next to stop leaving Montoya, Carpentier and Tracy occupying the top three places and while the two Reynard drivers stopped on lap 162, Montoya incredibly made his fuel last until lap 170 and was the last 'in sequence' man to stop.

By that time it had all gone horribly wrong for the Championship leader who had made a pit lane violation during his stop and was forced to complete a drive-through penalty. This dropped him a lap down from which he would not recover.

The Target crew once again tended to Montoya in impressive style and when he returned to the track he was still in third place behind Fernandez and Vasser. Andretti had refused to be shaken off and was clinging grimly to fourth place, fending off the attentions of Moreno.

In the continued absence of any caution flags it now looked as though the out of sync drivers were about to lose their gamble and sure enough, on lap 181 both Castroneves and Blundell were forced to pit. They were joined a lap later by the second placed Vasser which promoted Montoya and Andretti into potential podium positions.

In the lead, Fernandez was praying for a yellow as were Moreno and Brack who were the only other out of sync drivers yet to stop. On lap 184 their prayers were answered when Marques who had been running well in the Swift, hit the wall.

As the pace car was deployed, Fernandez, Moreno and Brack gave up their 1st, 4th and 5th places respectively and made their final pit-stop, handing the lead back to Montoya. When the green flag came out on lap194 Montoya headed Andretti, De Ferran, Carpentier and Fernandez. Franchitti was really struggling with his car and was eighth while those who pitted just before the yellow found themselves a lap down in 13th (Vasser) 15th (Castroneves) and 17th (Blundell) places.

Montoya now showed his true speed by opening up a five second lead over his pursuers in the closing stages of the race. The Lola-Toyota was functioning superbly and the Colombian was in sublime form, Andretti simply had nothing to reply with. Behind the top two, De Ferran lost third when he was forced to pit for fuel with just ten laps to go dropping him to 12th while Fernandez lost his fifth place when he slid wide in turn one. The Mexican eventually finished eighth after battling past Fittipaldi in the late laps.

As the chequer approached Montoya eased off and allowed Andretti to close to within a second at the flag although he had the lapped car of Gugelmin as a cushion between them. Montoya and Andretti are now tied in the championship with 44 points each, 15 being Tracy who could do no better than 15th.

Carpentier followed Andretti home in third after a spirited drive. In just his second race back from injury, the young Canadian showed that he has lost none of his fire and determination. "I'm very happy," said the Canadian. "Player's did a great job today. At the end my car was a bit loose and I couldn't push hard....But we've got a good package and I look forward to being up here a lot more this year.''

Brack capped another successful weekend with a fourth place finish, extending his lead in the rookie of the year championship in the process while the ever present Moreno rounded out the top five. Moreno now takes sole possession of second place in the championship as Vasser could only finish 13th.

Franchitti battled with his car to take sixth holding off a late challenge by Papis while Fernandez, Fittipaldi, Kanaan, Gugelmin and De Ferran rounded out the scorers.

Aside from Tagliani, Marques and Nakano, who finally gave up when it was clear his car was not right, the only other retirement had been Garcia who went out with an oil leak. There were a lot of competitive drivers who left Milwaukee including Blundell who said that with his car handling the way it was he was "amazed" that he didn't score. Tracy also failed to add to his tally and had to watch as his rivals gain vital ground in the championship.

The CART teams now have a rare weekend off before they head to Michigan and Detroit's Belle Isle circuit where Montoya will now be looking for win number two for Toyota.