Michael Andretti still knows how to win.
The second-generation Champ car star won for the first time since the 1998 season-opener in Homestead, Fla., outdueling second-year driver Helio Castro-Neves over the final 34 laps of yesterday's Motorola 300 in Madison, Ill.
"I was driving the hardest I've ever driven, right on the edge," the emotional Andretti said.
A crowd close to 40,000 roared its approval as Andretti's Swift-Ford raced across the finish line at Gateway International Raceway just 0.329 seconds -- about 1 1/2 car-lengths -- ahead of Castro-Neves.
Andretti, the leading active driver in the CART FedEx Championship Series with 38 victories, took the lead for the final time with a lightning pit stop on Lap 190 of the 236-lap event.
He went into the pits in fifth place, took only fuel and drove back onto the 1.27-mile oval in first place.
"My guys called a perfect race with their strategy," the 36-year-old driver said, choking up a bit. "We didn't take tires on that last stop. We had to take a gamble to get track position, and my Firestones hung in there."
FORMULA ONE: Mika Hakkinen captured his fifth consecutive pole of the season by posting the fastest time in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Hakkinen's time of 1 minute 22.088 seconds in a McLaren-Mercedes on the 2.94-mile Circuit de Catalunya was good enough for his 15th career pole.