Houston Gil de Ferran led all 100 laps and took the lead in the CART FedEx Series championship with his victory Sunday in the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston.
Only 17 of the 26 cars that started the race on the tight 1.527-mile, 10-turn downtown street circuit were running at the end, but de Ferran was virtually flawless as he drove to his second straight victory.
The win, combined with a seventh-place finish by Kenny Brack, turned a five-point deficit heading into the racing into a 10-point de Ferran lead, with three races and a maximum of 66 points remaining this season.
Dario Franchitti wasn't even within sight of the leader's Honda-powered Reynard as he wound up second, 3.430 seconds behind. Memo Gidley, who started 23rd, used a perfect fuel strategy to finish third.
Rookie Tora Takagi was fourth, followed by Helio Castroneves, who vaulted past Michael Andretti into third in the title chase.