A tenth of a second isn't much, but that's all it took for Sebastien Bourdais to make poor results at Montreal and Laguna Seca a distant memory as he took a sixth win of the season in the Bridgestone 400 - the first Champ Car race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Bourdais battled side-by-side with Newman Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira for the last 15 trips around the 1.5-mile before nipping him at the line by just 0.066 seconds, the sixth closest winning margin in championship history.

The two title challengers swapped the lead four times in the closing seven laps before Bourdais the win that gives him a 27-point lead in the championship with two races remaining on the calendar.

"It appears that I am very good on superspeedways, but still need work on short ovals!" a delighted Bourdais said afterwards. "This is great for the McDonald's team, they deserve the true credit this weekend. After two frustrating race weekends, it is very rewarding. It is another great finish for Newman Haas Racing, hopefully we can also finish one and two in the championship."

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Junqueira but kept himself alive in the hunt for his first series championship with his fourth consecutive Champ Car podium, earning additional championship points for leading a lap and for posting the fastest race lap.

"The PacifiCare car was good; I felt that it would be difficult for people to pass me as long as we had good pit stops," he said. "Towards the final laps of the race we were racing together, side-by-side, and that produced real exciting racing for the fans. It was clean racing; we have good drivers to race against. This is another great result for the Newman Haas Racing team, the win truly goes to them."

The action in Saturday nights race started soon as the green flag dropped, but ended just as quickly for one of the local drivers. Las Vegas resident Paul Tracy saw his title challenge come to a halt on the opening lap when a broken spline in his rear drive train sidelined the Forsythe machine and ended the Canadians chance of retaining his title.

However Tracy's teammates were determinted to battle on in his absence, as Laguna Seca winner Patrick Carpentier stormed to the front ahead of the Newman Haas duo. Carpentier's stablemate Rodolfo Lavin then made it a two-team race at the front by moving into the fourth slot as the rest of the field sorted itself out.

Ryan Hunter-Reay threw his hat in the ring as the first set of pit stops approached, but chance of victory went up in haze of tyre smoke on lap 37 when he spun on the entry to Pit Lane, bringing out the first caution flag of the night.

The spin made for some confusion among the teams as it came on the same lap that teams were mandated by rule to pit. The majority of the teams had already committed to pit when Hunter-Reay spun, but Alex Tagliani led a small pack of cars that stayed on the track to avoid the incident.

By virtue of his decision to stay out, Tagliani assumed the lead of the race during the lengthy caution period and held it for the first eight laps of green-flag action before Bourdais ran him down to take the lead. The pass allowed Bourdais to lead for the ninth consecutive race, but more importantly it got him back from a misstep on the opening pit stop that had dropped him back to seventh on the grid.

Tagliani then dropped out of the chase for the lead when Champ Car Stewards issued a stop-and-go penalty for failing to pit in the required window.

Bourdais dominated the next 91 laps, only giving up the lead for four laps to Oriol Servia during a cycle of pit stops. Bourdais stormed back to the front on lap 79 and pulled out to a three-second lead over Junqueira before the caution flag flew for the second, and last, time of the evening when Guy Smith coasted to a stop in turn One.

Bourdais and Junqueira made it a two-horse race from then on, pulling away from the field at the lap 134 restart to leave Carpentier and Justin Wilson to battle for the third spot. Junqueira took the high line while Bourdais planted himself on the low side of each of the four Las Vegas turns, finally taking the lead briefly on lap 149 of the 166-lap affair.

That lead would prove to be short lived however as the lapped cars of Tagliani and Gaston Mazzacane gave Bourdais the opportunity to wrestle the lead back from his Brazilian teammate.

Over the next ten laps the lead went back and forth between the two. Bourdais led lap 160 by 0.002 seconds, Junqueira went back in front on the next lap to lead by 0.02 seconds, but Bourdais came right back to claim a 0.06-second lead with four laps to go. Junqueira rose to the challenge on the next time by to take a 0.01-second advantage before Bourdais was able to finally claim a lead he would not relinquish in taking the win.

Carpentier would overcome a gearbox problem to score his third consecutive podium finish while Lavin scored a career oval-track best fourth place. Veteran Jimmy Vasser rounded out the top five ahead of rookie points leader A.J. Allmendinger.

Mario Dominguez and Justin Wilson took seventh and eighth, with Nelson Philippe and Roberto Gonzalez completing the top ten.

After the race, Tagliani found himself demoted from 14th to 16th (the final finishing place) for ignoring a black flag. The Rocketsports man also lost his bonus point for leading the race.