The race was so close, Vitor Meira thought he might have won.
Buddy Rice knew better.
Rice picked up his second win of the year yesterday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, just 0.0051 second ahead of his Rahal Letterman Racing teammate in the second-closest race in Indy Racing League history.
"I don't even know how to measure that," Meira said.
The only IRL race that was closer was at Chicagoland in 2002 when Sam Hornish Jr. beat Al Unser Jr. by .0024.
"If I could actually see him alongside me, that would mean I'd be behind," Rice said. "When I didn't see him when we went past the start-finish line, I was assuming -- but I felt I'd won the race."
Rice, the Indianapolis 500 winner and yesterday's pole sitter, narrowly lost the lead to Meira going into the final lap of the 200-lap Argent Mortgage Indy 300, with IRL points leader Tony Kanaan lurking just behind, looking for an opening.
With Rice inside and Meira outside, Kanaan never got a chance.
Meira's runner-up finish was his second in as many weeks -- but he had to check with his spotters to make sure.
"Before doing anything stupid, I just talked to the team and asked who won," he said. "Even then, I didn't really know for like 10 seconds afterwards."
Rice was just glad not to be dueling with a driver from a rival team.
"It's great being able to race each other cleanly," he said. "That's how it's supposed to happen, so I'm glad I could do it with my teammate."
Dario Franchitti was fourth, followed in the top 10 by Bryan Herta, Adrian Fernandez, Helio Castroneves, Hornish, Dan Wheldon and Alex Barron.
* FORMULA ONE: Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours, his ninth victory in 10 races this season.
The Renault team, led by Fernando Alonso of Spain, managed to end Ferrari's string of three straight 1-2 finishes.
Alonso, a rising star, held the pole and was runner-up, 8.3 seconds behind.
"No risk, no fun," Schumacher said, referring to his strategy of taking four pit stops.
"We might have won on a normal three-stop but that would have involved passing cars on the track."