Indianapolis 500 winner and defending series champion Juan Montoya of Colombia won his first Championship Auto Racing Teams event of the season
Montoya wins CART Milwaukee 225

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, June 5 (AFP) - Indianapolis 500 winner and defending series champion Juan Montoya of Colombia won his first Championship Auto Racing Teams event of the season, capuring the Milwaukee 225 here Monday.

American Michael Andretti was second, followed by Canada's Patrick Carpentier, Sweden's kenny Brack and Brazil's Roberto Moreno.

Montoya's victory was the first CART triumph for the Toyota engine, which Ganassi switched to from Honda power despite winning four consecutive CART crowns with the other motor. It was Toyota's 78th CART race in four years.

"We have been very unlucky in the last few race and things haven't gone our way," Montoya said. "I think it is really good to be able to win this year for Toyota. The team has worked so hard for this and it's a shame we couldn't have won earlier to be honest.

"There are so many people behind this project, it's incredible. There is a lot more potential to come. It's good that we are back in the race for the championship because we have been leading laps, but something always happened at the end."

Only eight days ago, Montoya became the first Indy debutante since Graham Hill in 1966 to capture the Indy 500. Here, he led all but 46 laps to win his eighth career CART event, carrying over his momentum.

"That was important, but the car was good," Montoya. "It was awesome all day long."

Canada's Paul Tracy remained atop the season points race after the sixth of 20 events with 59 points, sveen ahead of Moreno. American Jimmy Vasser is third with 46, two more than Montoya and Andretti.

"There are 14 races left and last year I had a huge lead with a few races to go and everything disappeared," Montoya said. "The last race, I was behind. You can't really tell what is going to happen. What you have to do right now is get to the end and score some points. That would make a big difference."

Montoya defeated Michael Andretti by 1.015-seconds, but led by as much 5.493-seconds on lap 208.

"We were close and when he got caught in traffic there at the end, we were able to make up some ground," Andretti said. "We made up some spots in the pits. We had a good day, not perfect, but pretty good."

Montoya became the seventh racer to capture Milwaukee and the Indy 500, the first to achieve the back-to-back sweep since Al Unser Jnr in 1994.

For the past five years, the Indy 500 has been part of the breakaway Indy Racing League instead of CART. The Indy victory did not come with Toyota power.

Rain Sunday had forced the postponement of the oval event at the Milwaukee Mile, the third CART race this year to be delayed by bad weather.

Montoya led until he made his final pit stop in 12.1 seconds with 55 laps remaining, leaving Mexico's Adrian Fernandez in the lead.

But when Brazil's Tarso Marques crashed with 42 laps to go, Fernandez refueled and Montoya reclaimed the lead. Racing resumed with 33 laps to go and stayed ahead the rest of the way.

Montoya became the sixth different CART driver to win in six races this season, matching the greatest number of winners in any CART season, a mark set in 1991.

Montoya's average speed of 142.684 miles per hour is the fastest CART race ever here. Andretti's 142.448 mph set the previous high in 1992.