By his own admission Paul Tracy almost gifted Sebastien Bourdais the 2005 Champ Car World Series title after a simple error two thirds of the way through Sunday's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver ended Tracy's day and handed Bourdais an easy win.
After poleman Tracy forced fellow front row starter Bourdais off line going round turn one on the opening lap, allowing AJ Allmendinger to nip into second place, the Canadian Forsythe Racing driver set about demolishing the rest of the field once an early full course to retrieve the crashed cars of Justin Wilson, Cristiano da Matta, Jimmy Vasser and Alex Tagliani had ended.
With the race running clean and green around the surprisingly open 1.6-mile street circuit for nearly 60 laps, Tracy was able to open up a sizeable advantage over the second place battle, which Bourdais eventually won after some truly stout defence from Allmendinger.
Even so, the Frenchman didn't seem capable of catching Tracy, who was well over ten seconds in front and trying to lap fifth place driver Timo Glock when, coming through turn three on lap 63, a momentary lapse of concentration from the 36 year-old saw him clip the inside wall and then cannon into the outside wall with race-ending consequences.
Several years ago, Tracy would have been unapproachable after the crash but he composed himself enough to admit it was his fault as he tried to force Glock to move over. His honesty didn't make the picture any prettier however; as Bourdais calmly reeled off the remaining 35 laps of what was a 97-lap event to claim his second straight win in the Mile High City. The defending champions' third consecutive race win also moved him 52 points clear of Tracy in the standings with five races remaining this year.
Behind Bourdais, Tracy's teammate Mario Dominguez passed Allmendinger in turn one on the final lap to snatch second place following a late race half-spin for the Mexican driver, which dropped him to fourth. However some wretched luck for leading rookie driver Glock just ten laps from home saw the Rocketsports driver coast to a halt while running in third, putting Dominguez back onto the podium and giving him a clean run at Allmendinger.
The American RuSPORT driver was still happy with a podium finish in a city that is home to his team, especially after his recent run of shaky form, while Oriol Servia and Rodolfo Lavin rounded out the top five.
Glock's teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay rose from 17th on the grid to sixth, gaining more positions than any other driver while Dale Coyne Racing teammates Ronnie Bremer and Ricardo Sperafico completed the top eight ahead of Mi Jack-Conquest teammates Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger.