In one of the more popular victories in decades, Tony Kanaan got the Indianapolis 500 monkey off his back permanently with a stirring victory in the 97th running of the Memorial Day classic. The race was run at a record average speed of 187.433 mph and featured 68 lead changes, doubling the previous record of 34 set last year.
The final lead change took place on a restart with five laps to go when Kanaan barged through on the inside of a four-car scrum. Before any of the half-dozen pending tactical moves for the victory could be attempted, Dario Franchitti smacked the wall bringing out the caution and freezing the field for Kanaan’s three-lap parade to Indy’s Victory Lane.
Kanaan’s car owner and fellow RRDC member Jimmy Vasser also scored his first Indy 500 victory.
As has been the case in recent years, more than half (17) of the 33 drivers in the 2013 starting lineup are members of the RRDC, including seven of the top 10. Another seven RRDC members were listed as car owners and together accounted for 17 of the entries.
The self-deprecating Kanaan took one look at the skulpted faces of previous Indy winners adorning the Borg-Warner trophy and quipped, “Now they’ll have to put my big nose on that trophy.”
Our hats are off for Tony Kanaan and Jimmy Vasser.