Moreno takes series lead

Roberto Moreno finally did what he has been threatening to do for several races and assumed the lead in the CART/Fedex Championship Series standings

Moreno takes series lead

The Brazilian is now a point clear of Portland race winner Gil de Ferran after finishing a close second to his fellow Brazilian in today's race.

Despite having yet to take a CART victory, Moreno has been extraordinarily consistent, challenging for podium positions at every race. He could have taken the championship lead had he made it to the flag at either Nazareth or Detroit, but on both occasions he crashed out late in the race. Today, however, there was no such drama.

"The guys did a great job, fuel consumption played a big role and here we are on the podium yet again," he said after the race. "All I'm focused on now is trying to get more points for the championship."

Moreno's result was a real triumph for the Patrick Racing team, who had worked extremely hard to complete an engine change in time for Saturday qualifying after a water leak in practice. Prior to that, Moreno had languished way down the order, but he was able to leap up to third in the second session.

De Ferran is only one point adrift in second but pre-race points leader Paul Tracy never recovered from his first lap contact. Like fellow startline shunt victim and title contender Jimmy Vasser, he will take no points home from Portland. The pair have slipped from third to fifth, split by Michael Andretti.

Kenny Brack's consistent season means he is now the top rookie and seventh overall, 16 points clear of the next best newcomer, PPI's Oriol Servia.

Championship standings after eight of 20 rounds:

1 Roberto Moreno Patrick 68
2 Gil de Ferran Penske 67
3 Paul Tracy KOOL Green 59
4 Michael Andretti Newman-Haas 56
5 Jimmy Vasser Ganassi 54
6 Max Papis Rahal 47
7 Kenny Brack Rahal 47
8 Juan Montoya Ganassi 46
9 Helio Castroneves Penske 44
10 Dario Franchitti KOOL Green 44
11 Adrian Fernandez Patrick 39
12 Christian Fittipaldi Newman-Haas 38

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