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Tony Kanaan finally scores his first Indianapolis 500 victory

May 26, 2013, 3:03 PM EDT

Indianapolis 500 Getty Images

Tony Kanaan has won the 97th Indianapolis 500, the fourth straight year the race has ended under yellow. It’s undoubtedly going to be an emotional moment for Indy’s crowd favorite, who has taken his first Indianapolis win in 12 attempts.

“This is it, man. I made it,” Kanaan told ABC’s Vince Welch in victory lane. “I got a little bit of luck today…This is for all the fans. This is for my dad who’s not here.”

Fourteen drivers combined to produce a record 68 lead changes – double from the previous record of 34 – set last year. It was also the fastest Indianapolis 500 history, at an average speed of 187.433 mph. That beats the record of 185.981 mph set by Arie Luyendyk in 1990. The win is also the first for KV Racing Technology in IZOD IndyCar Series competition.

The race ended under yellow when Dario Franchitti crashed on lap 198. Kanaan passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on the prior restart, lap 197, to take the victory.

Rookie Carlos Munoz finished second, Hunter-Reay third, Marco Andretti fourth and Justin Wilson fifth. Wilson was the top Honda finisher, driving for Dale Coyne Racing, behind the trio of Andretti Autosport drivers. Munoz is likely to be awarded the race’s Rookie-of-the-Year honors during the Indianapolis 500 banquet on Monday night.

Franchitti’s crash dropped him to 23rd at the finish, and the other driver challenging for a fourth ‘500 race win, Helio Castroneves, finished sixth after a largely quiet race.

AJ Allmendinger had undoubtedly the best race of the three he’s done  in his IndyCar return, leading 23 laps and ultimately ending seventh, with Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball and polesitter Ed Carpenter completed the top 10.

The day’s biggest mover was Ana Beatriz, 29th to 15th in Coyne’s second car. Only seven drivers: Franchitti, Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais, Pippa Mann, Buddy Lazier, Sebastian Saavedra and JR Hildebrand, failed to finish.

The last two cautions in the last seven laps muted what had been a stellar display of driving from the field of 33 otherwise, as after three cautions in the first 60 laps, the race ran green from lap 61 to 193. All told five cautions flew for 21 laps.

See the live blog of the race on MotorSportsTalk here.

  1. apm - May 26, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Congrats to TK!

  2. goodfellas17 - May 26, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Indy is happy for Tony! Never says anything negative about Indy. Good for him!

  3. Proamfam - May 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    What an anti-climax…..very disappointing ending, after a really exciting race with incredibly numerous lead changes. Kudos to Kanaan, but I feel sorry for him having not won a more clear and spectacular victory. After having gotten so close to widening his lead for a clear win, It has to be a let down .

    • moezilla - May 26, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      Yeah, I bet Tony is super depressed this evening…I heard he asked to not have his likeness carved into the Borg Warner trophey because he’s so embarrassed….get real.

  4. jason9696 - May 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    What a stupid sport. I only watch, which isn’t very often at all, for the crashes.

    • moezilla - May 26, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      Any reason you are logged into a message board on a site titled “motorsporttalk.com? Is stupidity a reason?

      • mizzouman86 - May 28, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        Amen moezilla!!! I’m with you. That’s a few minutes of his life he won’t get back. :^)

  5. badgerbuck - May 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    No race should ever end with a caution,terrible.

  6. laserw - May 26, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Great race, horrible ending. This race was like ending the Super Bowl with 2 minutes left in the game. I wonder how much money it took to get the Fran-whateverhisname is to wreck so that big nose could win the race.

    Imagine paying the ticket prices for this race and having all the fun stolen from you.

    Way to go, Indy. You had a chance to show that you could put on a good race and you showed you never will.

    • moezilla - May 27, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Funny, I watched the race….sure looked like 200,000 or so fans that paid the ticket price to watch the race were having a pretty good time while they gave Tony Kannan a standing ovation for 2 caution laps to end the race….try thinking before you type….saves you from looking like a fool.

  7. rowdy1854 - May 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    My God I think some racing fan are just like to piss and moan about everything!! If you didnt like the Indy 500 then never watch auto racing again because you’ll never be pleased with any race. And to the last dumb comment, I’m sure Dario wrecked a million dollar machine just so TK could win, brilliant statement.

    • moezilla - May 27, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      Maybe they thought that the Indy 500 was being run under NASCAR rules…sorry buddy, no Green, White, Checkered…..This is the INDY 500…not the Daytona 500…er, the Daytona 503….no wait…the Daytona 504 mile race….respect the distance of the race…

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