All year long, the Champ Car World Series drivers and teams chasing Sebastien Bourdais have been hoping that the two-time defending series champion would run into some bad luck that would allow them to get back into the title hunt.

Well, one out of two isn't bad.

Bourdais finally saw Lady Luck deal him a card from the bottom of the deck on a sunny Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile, dropping him a lap down to the field just 20 laps into today's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225, but the Newman/Haas Racing squad never missed a beat. Bourdais needed just nine laps to get back on the lead orbit, was back in the lead by Lap 101 and had almost lapped the field after another 50 trips around the 1.032-mile oval.

At the end of the day though, he needed one more strong burst to fight off Justin Wilson and Nelson Philippe on a Lap 166 restart to roll to his fourth consecutive victory of the season. Bourdais ran the fastest lap of the race just two laps after the restart and beat Wilson to the checkered flag by 3.613 seconds. The win is the fourth in as many starts this season for Bourdais and the 20th of his career. He scored the maximum 34 points available over the weekend and widened his championship lead to 31 points over Wilson.

Wilson ran to his third runner-up finish of the season by finishing second today, settling for the runner-up spot after leading 61 laps on the day. Even with a few different strategies taking place on the tricky Milwaukee Mile, Bourdais, Wilson and Philippe were the constants on the day. Philippe scored the first podium of his young Champ Car career and managed his best-ever series finish with a third-place run, vaulting him four positions in the championship standings.

Bourdais suffered a punctured right-rear tire on Lap 20, knocking him out of the lead and giving the point to A.J. Allmendinger. He lost a lap in changing the tire but he caught a break six laps later when Dan Clarke spun and stalled, bringing out the caution that would help Bourdais undo some of the damage done earlier. Wilson made the move that would eventually give him the lead during the first round of pit stops when his RuSPORT team got him out ahead of teammate Allmendinger, but Champ Car history was being made at the front of the grid.

Rookie Katherine Legge was running fourth at the first caution and eschewed the chance to pit during the yellow-flag period, becoming the first female driver ever to lead a Champ Car race. Legge did more than just lead once the green flag waved as she fought off Wilson's advances for 12 laps before finally yielding to the RuSPORT driver.

Bourdais found no easy passage in his march back through the field, wading through a number of hard-fought battles that forced him to earn every inch of track that he gained. Philippe posed the toughest of those conflicts, roaring back after being passed for fourth on Lap 72. Bourdais passed Philippe and was giving chase to Oriol Servia when Philippe stormed back and went wheel-to-wheel with the two-time champ for four laps. Meanwhile out front, Wilson was taking advantage of Bourdais' skirmishes, building a lead of nearly 14 seconds before he had to pit on Lap 100.

Bourdais inherited the lead as the front-running cars pitted for fuel, and immediately sprinted away from the field. Building his lead with every lap, Bourdais was able hang a full lap on the entire field before pitting on Lap 128, allowing him to come out on track a full 10 seconds ahead of the second-placed Wilson.

Bourdais widened his lead to nearly a full lap, holding a 21-second lead on a track were race laps take 23 seconds, but saw it erased when the canary banner flew for debris on Lap 152. The caution brought Wilson and Philippe right to points leader's rear wing, but Bourdais was equal to the task and roared away to the win, becoming the first driver since 1964 to win as many as four consecutive races to start the year.

Allmendinger ended up in the fourth spot on the day, boosting him into the top-five in the season standings after four races. Servia ended up fifth with his PKV Racing teammate Legge came home in sixth, marking the best finish ever for a female Champ Car driver in the 98-year history of the series.

The championship hopes of Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira took another major hit today when both drivers were taken out in a second-lap crash. Mario Dominguez got inside on Junqueira in Turn Four, resulting in contact that sent Junqueira into the outside wall with Dominguez spinning to the inside. Tracy tried to split the cars and avoid the trouble, but clipped his right-rear wheel on Dominguez' car, ending his day as well.

Andrew Ranger ended his day in seventh and maintained his fourth-place position in the points while Clarke held on to finish eighth, marking his best-ever Champ Car finish. Charles Zwolsman and Nicky Pastorelli rounded out the top 10, both drivers scoring the first top-10 runs of their rookie campaigns. The series will take next week off before heading to Portland International Raceway for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland June 16-18.


Sebastien Bourdais: This car was a rocketship today. It really looked like we were going to run away with it, and I guess on lap 15 or something, the guy started to see a small leak on the right rear, then I started to think different. At that point I was very confident we were going to have a good result because the car was really good and we didn't panic and everybody knew what he had to do, and me first, and the most important thing was to finish this race, not make any mistakes, and we were already really concentrated. Then I started to hit traffic and go very quickly and play catch-up a little bit, and it all worked out.

Justin Wilson: It was a great race. I'm just really happy to have made the podium on an oval. I can count this as my third oval. I didn't really think Vegas counted because it was just flat out - this is one where you have to drive, and you feel that you can drive this track.

Nelson Philippe: It feels definitely amazing. I said outside, it's been a long time coming. I've been really close a couple of times to being in the top 3, and finally I achieved it today. The main thing is I've got to give it up to my team because without them I wouldn't be here. They gave me an awesome car, it was great in traffic. I'm on the podium, you know.


Sebastien Bourdais won the 20th race of his Champ Car career today, moving him into sole possession of 15th on the all-time series list. He has led 1,385 laps in his career and today moved ahead of Gil de Ferran for 20th on the all-time list.

Bourdais is the 10th driver ever to win as many as four consecutive Champ Car races. A win at Portland would make him the first driver since 1970 (Al Unser Sr.) to win five in a row.

Katherine Legge is the fifth female driver to compete in the Champ Car World Series and is the first to ever lead laps, leading laps 28-39 today.

Will Power finished 11th today, falling back after losing a CV joint while running sixth. He maintains his lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings, 50-49 over Legge.