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Tracy's Mid Ohio maximum.

Paul Tracy led 69 of 92 laps to win Sunday's Grand Prix of Mid Ohio and complete a perfect weekend for the Player's/Forsythe Racing driver who, in the process, turned a three point Championship deficit into a 20 point lead.

Tracy's title cause was aided by erstwhile points leader Bruno Junqueira finishing two laps down in 13th place, a legacy of an early race clash with Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia.

Defending Mid Ohio winner Patrick Carpentier finished second to his teammate, just six tenths of a second behind by the time the chequered flag fell partly thanks to a caution flag that bunched the field for a lap 87 restart and partly thanks to a fired up final few laps that saw the two Canadian's push each other all the way.

Tracy aside, the star of the race and arguably the weekend as a whole was rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished a career best third for the fledgling American Spirit Team Johansson outfit. The young American became the first driver to put the outdated Reynard chassis on the podium in 2003 after a mature, aggressive performance from the outside of the front row.

Stefan Johansson was just ten laps away from getting two cars into the top five as the team's other driver, veteran Jimmy Vasser, put on one of the overtaking displays of the season from 14th on the grid, moving onto Hunter-Reay's rear spoiler before a devastating spin on lap 82 that brought his fine charge to an end.

Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr took advantage of Vasser's demise to claim a distant fourth place while Junqueira's Newman-Haas Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top five.

Rocketsports Racing's Alex Tagliani came home in sixth position, yards ahead of Adrian Fernandez, whose alternative early race fuel strategy led to him leading 13 laps.

Briton Darren Manning never found the sweet spot in his Walker Racing Reynard but still recorded a top eight finish in eighth place while Max Papis and Mario Haberfeld rounded out the top ten.

Tiago Monteiro had another eventful day in the Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Reynard, leading ten laps thanks to his alternative fuel strategy and holding off Paul Tracy fair and square before he incurred the wrath of the CART stewards for blocking and had to serve a costly stop/go penalty.

Rodolfo Lavin completed the points scorers with Junqueira and Geoff Boss the only other finishers.

With six races remaining in this year's title chase, Tracy now leads Junqueira by 20 points courtesy of his sixth win of the season with Jourdain Jr a further 22 markers behind in third place and Bourdais fourth, nearly 60 behind the outright lead.


Related Pictures

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Paul Tracy leads Player`s Forsythe Racing teammate Patrick Carpentier during the Grand Prix of St Petersburg.
Patrick Carpentier - Team Players Lola-Cosworth
Ryan Hunter-Reay, American Spirit Team Johansson.
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates winning the pole Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon will start in the front row with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, who qualified second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 wins the pole Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon will start in the front row with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, who qualified second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag as he races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with Helio Castroneves and Carlos Munoz on the podium after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
The damaged front wing of the race-winning car. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya with third-placed Carlos Munoz after the Pocono IndyCar 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates posting the fastest time Saturday, July 5, 2014 during qualifying for Sunday`s Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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