INDIANAPOLIS- In 11 previous Indianapolis 500 starts, Tony Kanaan was ever so close to victory.
He was among the greatest drivers to never win the world’s biggest race. He had eight top 10 finishes in his 11 previous starts including a fourth and third the last two races around the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Today in his 12th start it was finally his day.
Kanaan used an epic pass on the restart with three-laps to go to get by defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay entering Turn 1. After the pass three-time 500 winner and defending champ Dario Franchitti crashed in the South chute to bring out the yellow that ended the race.
The win was Kanaan’s first at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a very popular one. The crowd of 250,000+ cheered very loudly as Kanaan led several times, including lead exchanges with Marco Andretti nearly every lap the first 29 Laps of the race. He moved up from his 11th place starting spot to sixth by the second lap.
“I got a little bit of luck today,” said the 2013 Indy 500 champ. “It’s for the fans. It’s for my dad that’s not here. But mainly for all of you guys. I was looking at the stands, and it was unbelievable. I’m speechless. This is it, man. I made it. Finally they’re going to put my ugly face on this trophy. We were known for not winning, and now we are winning. I don’t know what to say.”
Kanaan’s win was his first since Iowa in 2010 which was 45 races ago.
The popular victory will go down forever as the best race in the history. Not only did Kanaan win but several records were broken in the 200 Lap race today.
The race was the fastest in the 97 year 500 history with an average speed of 187.433 mph. There were only five cautions the entire race with only two since Lap 57.
Another record went down today as we saw a race record 68 lead changes. The previous record was 35 set last year. What’s even more incredible is the previous record was broken with 75 Laps still to go.
Some other interesting tidbits from today was Kanaan’s victory in the No. 11 Chevy was the first win at IMS for a number 11. Also, the 15 different times he led was the most for a race winner as he led 15 times. On the contrary Andretti also led 15 times which is a record for a non-race winner.
The final record today was pole sitter Ed Carpenter leading a race-high 37 Laps. That was the fewest amount of laps led by the car leading the most.
Coming home runner-up was rookie Carlos Munoz. The Columbian looked very strong all race and even led a few laps in pit cycles. He had a fantastic month as he doesn’t even have a full-time ride as the 500 was his first Izod IndyCar Series start. He outdueled his four fellow Andretti Autosport teammates in qualifying and the race.
Coming home behind him was his teammates Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti as they gave a furious rally on the restart to finish third and fourth respectively.
Justin Wilson had the sleeper ride of the day and was the top finishing Honda in fifth place. He was quiet all day but very strong.
There were only five cautions on the day with the first coming on Lap 2 when J.R. Hildebrand lost control of his No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet in Turn 1. Sebastian Saveedra brought out the second caution just after the first pit cycle when Pippa Mann cut him off entering Turn 4. Saveedra lost control in the grass and spun to go head first into the Turn 4 SAFER barrier.
Takuma Sato spun on Lap 57 exiting Turn 2 but luckily didn’t hit anything. He would continue on and stay on the lead lap. The points leader entering today would finish 13th.
We would go a record 133 Laps until the next caution when Graham Rahal wrecked off Turn 2 to bring out the yellow with just seven laps to go. Luckily, racing would resume but on the restart Franchitti wrecked in the south end of the track.
The 21 caution laps were also a race record for fewest amount of laps under caution in a race run the full distance.
1. 11 Tony Kanaan
2. 26 Carlos Munoz R
3. 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay
4. 25 Marco Andretti
5. 19 Justin Wilson
6. 3 Helio Castroneves
7. 2 A.J. Allmendinger
8. 77 Simon Pagenaud
9. 83 Charlie Kimball
10. 20 Ed Carpenter
11. 22 Oriol Servia
12. 8 Ryan Briscoe
13. 14 Takuma Sato
14. 9 Scott Dixon
15. 18 Ana Beatriz
16. 55 Tristian Vautier R
17. 78 Simona de Silvestro
18. 5 E.J. Viso
19. 12 Will Power
20. 16 James Jakes -1
21. 27 James Hinchcliffe -1
22. 10 Dario Franchitti OUT
23. 41 Conor Daly -3
24. 98 Alex Tagliani -4
25. 15 Graham Rahal OUT
26. 81 Katherine Legge -7
27. 60 Townsend Bell OUT
28. 21 Josef Newgarden -9
29. 7 Sebastien Bourdais OUT
30. 63 Pippa Mann OUT
31. 91 Buddy Lazier OUT
32. 6 Sebastian Saveedra OUT
33. 4 J.R. Hildebrand OUT
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