Third place should have gone to Castroneves who had put in a very determined first stint but sadly on lap 43 the left front suspension on his Reynard collapsed as he was approaching Turn Six and he was pitched into the tyres at a considerable rate of knots.
Cristiano Da Matta emerged from the chasing group in third place after Montoya parked it although the fuel tank on the PPI Motorsports Reynard-Toyota wasn't as big as the team would have liked and the Brazilian was forced to make a late race splash and dash, which dropped him to seventh.
Gratefully receiving the final podium slot was Adrian Fernandez who made several early stops for fuel when the race was under caution and was able to take advantage of Shinji Nakano's crash on lap 49 to make his final top under caution. The Mexican moves into third place in the title hunt as a result of another consistent performance from the Patrick Racing crew although team-mate and fellow championship hopeful Roberto Moreno had a troubled run to tenth, one lap down.
Christian Fittipaldi held down sixth place in the early going and gradually moved up the order as others fell by the wayside. In a trouble-free run Fittipaldi headed home a train of cars for fourth place, which included De Ferran, Jimmy Vasser and Michael Andretti. De Ferran was credited with fifth place while Vasser restored some honour to the Target/Chip Ganassi camp with sixth. Andretti meanwhile coasted to a halt with two laps to go after running his Newman-Haas Lola-Ford dry as he attempted to pressure Vasser and picked up a solitary point for twelfth.
It was a bad day all round for the American driver who watched all five of his title rivals outscore him for despite stalling his car and clipping the tyre barriers Kenny Brack brought his Team Rahal Reynard-Ford home in ninth place, just half a second behind team-mate Max Papis.
Oriol Servia wound up in eleventh place after making light contact with the wall at Turn Eleven in the early laps. The young Spanish driver looked very racy at the start of the event and fought tooth and nail with Vasser, Moreno and Andretti only to lose out with a moment of over-exuberance.
Rounding out the finishers were Alex Barron, Tony Kanaan and Luiz Garcia Jr, all of who suffered at least one delay during the event. Memo Gidley was unable to make it five points scoring finishes from five starts for the Della Penna crew when he was black flagged for engine smoke whilst lying in eighth place.
Thanks to Andretti's late misfortune, the top six in the title chase are now separated by a mere 20 points going into next Sunday's race at Laguna Seca and it really is anyone's race.