Formula One can count on this much: Michael Schumacher will not win every race this season.
After starting the season with five straight victories, Schumacher's commanding run ended yesterday with a crash at the Monaco Grand Prix that left rival Juan Pablo Montoya complaining yet again about the German's driving.
Jarno Trulli was the winner in Monte Carlo, recording his first Formula One victory on a day when Schumacher finished his race with a wheel dangling from his damaged red Ferrari.
Trulli had the pole for the first time and posted his first victory in 119 Grand Prix races.
"It's amazing," the Italian said. "I won in Monaco, the best race probably in the world."
Schumacher was trying beat Nigel Mansell's 1992 record Formula One start of five straight victories and Ayrton Senna's record of five Monaco GP wins. He also was hoping to equal the best winning streak in a season. Alberto Ascari won the last six races in 1952 and added three more to start 1953.
The six-time world champion started from the fourth position, his worst grid placing of the season. Schumacher quit a race for the first time since the Brazilian Grand Prix in April 2003, but still leads the standings with 50 points from his five victories.
Schumacher and Montoya touched as they were following the safety car that came out after Renault's Fernando Alonso crashed on Lap 42. To keep their tires and brakes warm as they waited, both drivers were slowing and accelerating abruptly.
Montoya, who was behind, said Schumacher slammed his brakes. He, too, braked his Williams-BMW to avoid him, but the race leader "came in straight where I was."
Trulli, the first Italian to win in Monaco in 22 years, completed 77 laps of the 2.076-mile circuit in 1 hour 45 minutes 46.601 seconds, averaging 90.665 mph.
He led from the start and held off a late surge from Britain's Jenson Button, the runner-up. Schumacher's Brazilian teammate, Rubens Barrichello, was third. Barrichello is second in the standings with 38 points.
* CHAMP CAR: France's Sebastien Bourdais fought off numerous challenges by Bruno Junqueira and made an early lead stand up to win the Monterrey Grand Prix in Mexico.
The 25-year-old pole-sitter led most of the race, except for the laps around his pit stops, and beat Brazil's Junqueira by 3.852 seconds on the tight, winding, 2.104-mile road course at Fundidora Park.
With Bourdais ahead by a wide margin after his final pit stop, the last 15 laps turned into a battle for the remaining places on the podium among Junqueira, rookie Justin Wilson and Mexico's Mario Dominguez, who finished third.
* NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr. led for just one lap in the final Busch Series race at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway, yet still managed his series-best fourth win of the season.
Truex battled lapped traffic and cut underneath Bobby Hamilton Jr. down the backstretch on Lap 200 in a thrilling finish in the Goulds Pumps ITT Industries 200.
The speedway will close after the 2004 season and International Speedway Corporation plans to move the speedway's NASCAR Busch and IRL IndyCar series events to other tracks.
* IRL: For Greg Ray, it was worth the wait. After nearly two weeks of frustration as he waited for sponsorship to turn up, the former Indy Racing League champion finally got on the track and made qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 look easy.
Ray, a seven-time Indy 500 starter, ran only 20 practice laps before completing the 33-car lineup with a four-lap, 10-mile average of 216.641 mph. That speed would have placed him 18th had he done it on May 15, the first of three days of time trials.
Instead, Ray will start 27th after topping seven qualifiers.
Ray's run ended weeks of speculation that the 88th Indy 500 could be the first since 1947 with fewer than the traditional 33 starters. Only 30 ran that year. . . .
PJ Jones, son of 1963 Indy 500 champion Parnelli Jones, qualified for the field with an average time of 213.355 mph.