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Andretti opens Gateway for Montoya.

However it was all about to come unglued for the leader and as the 200 lap mark approached, a faint trail of smoke began to emanate from the rear of the Andretti mount. As other drivers began to report a spattering of oil on their visors, the trail turned into a plume and as he crossed the start line to complete lap 195, Andretti's engine cried enough and the disconsolate American pulled to the side of the track.
Andretti's quickness of thought in pulling off the course meant that the race continued apace but as he trudged forlornly back to his pit-stall, 70,000 fans all shared a thought for him.

Montoya therefore inherited the lead although he still had Tracy stuck fast in his wheel tracks. Behind these two, no-one else was remotely in the picture.

The battle for the lead remained at boiling point until lap 209 when the chasing Team KOOL Green Reynard suddenly lost fifth gear and pitched Tracy sideways. The Canadian controlled the spin magnificently but was unable to prevent his right rear tyre from hitting the wall and puncturing, damaging his suspension beyond repair. This brought out the first, and only caution of the race and Montoya was now left with a clear run to victory lane.

Such was Montoya's pace that as he inherited the lead, only one other car on the lead lap as the Colombian was Carpentier who had managed to break away from the third place dice, as it was before Tracy retired, thanks to some excellent fuel mileage and some superb pit-work. Although his task appeared pointless, the Canadian driver set about reducing Montoya's 30 second lead in the final 20 laps and even though the Colombian was driving to conserve his car, Patrick took a full second per lap out of the leader in the final 30 tours and was easily the fastest man on the track as he came home to equal his career best finish.

Third place, a lap down, fell to Roberto Moreno who drove with patience and speed to usurp Cristiano Da Matta from the podium on the final run to the flag. After 300 miles of racing, positions three to twelve were covered by a mere five seconds in what was a thoroughly entertaining race.

Oriol Servia put the second PPI car in fifth position to end a great day for Cal Wells while Max Papis also moved through the field with style to claim sixth spot. Vasser faded to seventh at the end while De Ferran kept his Championship lead with a steady run to eighth on a day where both he and team-mate Helio Castroneves, who followed him home in ninth, complained of constant oversteer.

Title contenders Adrian Fernandez and Kenny Brack came home tenth and eleventh although with Andretti and Tracy both retiring and points leader De Ferran not scoring well, both are still very much in the title picture. The final point went to Christian Fittipaldi in the second Newman-Haas car, a machine far removed from Andretti's.

Kanaan eventually faded to 13th after his set-up went away from him while the lacklustre Alex Tagliani, Tarso Marques, Michel Jourdain Jr and Alex Barron completed the finishers.

The Fed-Ex Championship has a rare weekend off before heading to downtown Houston for a real 'Race around the houses.' Gil De Ferran still leads with three races remaining although his gap at the top is now a mere eight points from Roberto Moreno. Andretti, Tracy, Fernandez and Brack are all still up there too.



Related Pictures

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The winning crew at Michigan
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Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fifth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Sunday, June 14, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fillip`s teammate, Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, won the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, takes the chequered flag Sunday, June 14, 2015 to win the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi (rear), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden celebrate with the CFH Racing team after finishing 1-2 in the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies third-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies second-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Tony Kanaan Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Canaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished in second-place. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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