In a race that saw a record 68 lead changes amongst 14 leaders, the race would end under caution and see an emotional driver Tony Kanaan go to victory lane. After suffering defeat many years in a row, Kanaan’s move on the restart with three to go would pan off to be the move of the race.
“We finally got lucky,” Kanaan said. “I won it. I’m here.”
After seeing a mostly caution free race, the caution would come out with seven laps to go for Graham Rahal hitting the wall.
On the restart, Ryan Hunter-Reay would be the leader, and Kanaan would dive low while rookie Carlos Munoz went high. Going into turn one, Kanaan would have the lead ahead of Munoz, Hunter-Reay and Andretti. As they entered turn two, the caution would fly for Dario Franchitti hitting the wall.
“I couldn’t believe it and then I’m like how many to go and they’re like 2 to go,” Kanaan said. “The last lap was the longest lap of my life. I wanted to tell the pace car to hurry up so bad.”
Kanaan’s five year old son Leo lives in Brazil and has asked when his daddy could come home. Kanaan told him that he could after he won the Indianapolis 500
“We’re going to be busy, but I promised him a trophy and we’re bringing him a good one,” Kanaan commented.
Kanaan also had a lucky charm on board his IndyCar on Sunday afternoon. Nine years ago, he gave a little girl who was having brain surgery his lucky metal to help her through. The girl, now 24 years old, returned the metal to Kanaan and told him he needed it for good luck.
After shocking many in qualifying, Carlos Munoz would continue his success on Sunday as he would finish second after qualifying second.
“I’m feeling a bit sad right now,” he admitted. “I should be happy but I had a shot to win this win. I think I did a great job I have nothing to be ashamed of. The team gave me a great car and did great pit stops……maybe next year I will win it.”
He’d be followed by his Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.
“That’s just the way it works out,” Hunter-Reay said. “I knew I was a sitting duck and I wasn’t too bummed about it because I knew we had enough laps to get it going again and have a pass back and maybe I would be third on the last lap, which is where I wanted to be and it didn’t work out that way.
“Big congratulations to Tony Kanaan, though. He has been there so many times, had bad luck and for whatever reason the race has alluded him. Great champion, certainly deserves it. But man am I disappointed.”
Justin Wilson would round out the top five.
Helio Castroneves would finish sixth, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball and Ed Carpenter.
There’d be three cautions in the first 60 laps of the race before the race went green all through the middle of the race. JR Hildebrand would bring out the first caution after getting loose and hitting the wall on lap three.
“I was going by Hinch and maybe was a little off line on entry, but where the cars had been working fine so far, but it just got loose and it just snapped around,” he said. “We had been pretty aggressive with the downforce level and even now, looking at the race, I don’t think it was too much.”
The second caution came out for someone driving Sebastian Saavedra down into the grass on lap 35, and then Saavedra hitting the wall.
The third caution came out on lap 58 for Takuma Sato having a solo spin. Sato, who came in as the points leader, finished 13th, which allowed Andretti to take over the points lead.
Brazil winner James Hinchcliffe would struggle throughout the day, finishing 21st.