INDIANAPOLIS-The winner of the 97th Indianapolis 500, Tony Kanaan, is one of the most beloved and popular drivers in the Indy Car Series. His victory capped a record setting race.
The average speed of the race was 187.433 mph, the fastest Indianapolis 500 in history. The previous record was 185.981 set in 1990 by Arie Luyendyk.
This is only the fifth time since 1972 that an Indianapolis 500 average race speed record has been set. Previous records:
1972: Mark Donohue, 162.962 mph
1984: Rick Mears, 163.612 mph
1986: Bobby Rahal, 170.722 mph
1990: Arie Luyendyk, 185.981 mph
2013: Tony Kanaan, 187.433 mph
There were 68 lead changes and 14 drivers lead what was one of the most exciting and entertaining races in recent memory despite ending under a yellow caution flag brought on by the wreck of Dario Franchetti’s car coming out of the first turn on lap 198 of 200.
Here are some other facts regarding the May 26th race:
2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan has won the race for the first time in 12 career starts, tying an event record for earning a victory latest in a driver’s Indy 500 career. The other driver to win the race for the first time in his 12th career start was Sam Hanks in 1957. Hanks qualified for 13 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races but only made 12 starts before winning in 1957. He did not race in 1941 after suffering injuries in a crash before the race. Hanks was credited with 33rd place even though he didn’t start.
This was the ninth race that Tony Kanaan has led in his Indianapolis 500 career, the most times that a driver had led the race before winning his first Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan set a new record winning speed at 187.433 mph, breaking the previous mark of 185.981 set by Arie Luyendyk in 1990. Luyendyk held the record winning speed for the longest period in race history, 23 years.
Carlos Munoz finished second with an average speed of 187.431 mph, the fastest average speed in Indianapolis 500 by a race rookie. The previous rookie record holder was JR Hildebrand, when he finished second in 2011 with an average speed of 170.232 mph.
Tony Kanaan is the fourth Brazilian driver to win the Indianapolis 500. The other three are Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Emerson Fittipaldi (1989, 1993), and Gil de Ferran (2003).
This is the first time car number 11 has won the Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan was the second driver to win starting from the 12th starting position. The other was Al Unser Jr. in 1992.
Helio Castroneves completed the full 500-mile distance without relief driver help for a record ninth time in his Indianapolis 500 career. Ted Horn and A.J. Foyt are the only other drivers to complete the full 500 distance eight times without relief help. Relief drivers were common in the Indianapolis 500 before World War II.
Scott Dixon extended his Indianapolis 500 record to 1,566 consecutive laps completed.
Scott Dixon (2008-13) ties Wilbur Shaw (1935-40) and Rodger Ward (1959-64) for completing the full 500-mile distance six consecutive times.
There were a record 14 lap leaders in this race. The previous record was 12 in 1993.
Six drivers led the race for the first time in their Indianapolis 500 career: Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Jakes, E.J. Viso, Carlos Munoz, AJ Allmendinger and Townsend Bell.
There were two rookie lap leaders in today’s race: Carlos Munoz and AJ Allmendinger.
The 2013 Indianapolis 500 ended with 26 cars running at the finish. This ties the record set in the inaugural race in 1911 for most cars running at the finish for a race that went the full 500-mile distance. The rain-shortened event in 1976 (255 miles) had 27 cars running at the finish. The 1911 field had 40 starters, while the 1976 and 2013 events had 33 starters.
The 2013 race had 19 cars finish on the lead lap, tying the event record set in 2009.
The 2013 Indianapolis 500 had a record 68 lead changes, doubling the record of 34 set in 2012.
2013 race winner Tony Kanaan led the race 15 times. This is the most times a driver has led an Indianapolis 500 event in a winning effort. The previous record holder for a race winner was Tommy Milton (1923), who led that year’s race 13 times.
Marco Andretti led 15 times today, the most ever by an Indianapolis 500 driver who didn’t win the race. The previous record was 10 times by second-place finisher Rodger Ward in 1960. Ryan Hunter-Reay also broke the record today, leading 13 times.
The top lap leader in today’s race was 10th-place finisher Ed Carpenter with 37 laps led, the fewest laps led by the overall lap leader in an Indianapolis 500. The previous record holder was fifth-place finisher Roberto Guerrero, who led a race high 47 laps in 1996.
There were 133 consecutive green-flag laps today from Lap 61 through Lap 193, the longest green-flag period in Indianapolis 500 history since caution-flag laps were recorded beginning in 1976.
There were 21 caution-flag laps, the fewest in an Indianapolis 500 that went the full distance since caution-flag laps were recorded beginning in 1976. The 1976 race also had just 21 caution-flag laps, but that race ended after 102 laps due to rain.
Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti each took the lead from seven different drivers today, an event record. The previous record was by Mario Andretti in 1993.The record for taking the lead from the
Three-time “500” winner Dario Franchitti was not running at the finish of the race for the first time in 10 career starts. He completed 197 laps, only the second time in his career that he did not finish on the lead lap. The other year was his rookie year in 2002, when he also completed 197 laps.
AJ Allmendinger led the Indianapolis 500 in his first start. He also led four laps in the 2008 Brickyard 400.
Allmendinger became the fifth driver to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 at IMS. The other drivers: Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, John Andretti and Robby Gordon.
Official top 10 in IZOD IndyCar Series point standings after 97th Indianapolis 500: Marco Andretti 168, Takuma Sato 157, Helio Castroneves 152, Ryan Hunter-Reay 138, James Hinchcliffe 128, Justin Wilson 125, Tony Kanaan 124, Scott Dixon 122, Oriol Servia 112, Simon Pagenaud 108.
An adrenalin filled Kanaan had this to say after finally winning the race.
“I got a little bit of luck today. 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.”
When asked what was going through his mind during that final caution Kanaan said :
“I couldn’t believe it. How many laps to go? Two to go? I guess that’s it. The last lap was the longest lap of my life. I wanted the Pace Car to hurry up. I enjoyed it. We did it.”
Second place finisher, Rookie Carlos Munoz, had this to say;
“I should be happy. But I thought I should win this thing. The car was so great from the first lap to the last lap. I have to be good. Let’s see what my future will bring. Maybe next year I will win it. I was more sad because I had a shot t overtake and fight for the win. I couldn’t do anything to win. All respect to Juan Pablo. I know how it is to do 500 now. This race is so difficult.”
One of the newer traditions on Race Day is the addition of the Red Carpet walk way as an introduction to the track for celebrities and notables.
Here are some of the thoughts from some who gathered to watch the race.
TIM DALY (Actor): “This is my third time here. It’s colder. The last couple of times I was here it was hot. But it’s great. It’s such an amazing event. For anyone who hasn’t been here, it’s so hard to imagine how enormous it is – and how exciting. My buddy, Oriol Servia, is racing here. I like to hang out with him. I’m giving him my support. It’s really great to walk out on the track and see what’s going on. In the past, I’ve done hot laps. Going around the track with Mario Andretti certainly got my attention. It gets your adrenaline and heart pumping – it’s quite an experience.”
MICHAEL PENA (Honorary starter; actor, “Turbo”): “I got involved with the movie (“Turbo”) because they saw some comedy stuff of mine, like “Eastbound and Down” and “Tower Heist” and other things, “30 Minutes or Less.” I’ve been working on it for two years, and those two years, it’s been slowly coming together. This is my first time in Indy, and I’m kicking myself in the pants because I grew up in Chicago. I don’t know why I never made it. But I’m going to be coming back every year, because this is thing is crazy. The energy, it’s like a three-day party, to be honest.” (On his what he thinks the experience will be like waving the green flag): “I have no idea. I’ve seen it. I know that Jack Nicholson was up there for 20 minutes and didn’t want to come down. I’ll bet you the adrenaline rush is going to be amazing. But really, the energy of the crowd is unlike any other sporting event that I’ve ever been to. I’ve never been to the Olympics. But this is amazing.” (On what “Turbo” will do for the sport): “It’s going to bring, hopefully, a new generation of (fans) like ‘Rudy’ did to football and Notre Dame. I think this could potentially do that, as well. It’s cool, because it starts off with a snail. It’s not too high pressure. Then what they did is they got all the racing bits, the Speedway, they got that almost exactly correct – proportioned to everything. And little things like tactics, the rubber on the ground and stuff, is going to show people the inside scoop of what it is to be a racer. It’s a lot of fun.”
ADAM RICHMAN (TV host): “It’s amazing and it keeps growing, and what I really love is to see the diversity grow each year. It’s amazing the level of patriotism. It is a an amazing motor sport event, and in spite of the fact that you have some amazing competitors, like last year’s winner is from Scotland, you have had winners from Brazil, Will Power from Australia, and yet you have this really distinct American identity, but it is still welcoming to people from other nations. But the scope is so big, and there is a special energy in this town race week. It is so unreal, and when you are here, you can hear it and feel it. It is unbelievable.” (Prediction): “Just because I kind of want to take her to dinner or something – Ana Beatriz –no, I don’t know. Ganassi has some pretty great talent. Obviously, Ed Carpenter. Dario has a great car, I don’t know. If Sato doesn’t do that crazy last pass, he could be a dark horse. And I have always liked Tony Kanaan, and he is a great local hero and a sweet man – a good guy. So you know what – I’m going for Tony the Nose. So I like him, but Dario will be pretty hard to beat.”
SHAWN JOHNSON (U.S. Olympic gold medalist, gymnastics): “I have never been here before, so it is cool, and I can’t believe how big it is. I can’t believe how many people are here. It’s an honor. We got to do the parade yesterday, and I’m ready for the race to start. It’s exciting, I’m real good friends with Helio, so I’m actually real nervous today because it could be his fourth win. I don’t really know how this sport works, but I’m going to learn today.”
JORDYN WIEBER (U.S. Olympic gold medalist, gymnastics): “It is my first time, as well, and I did not expect it to be this big, but I’m real excited to see it. It’s a whole lot different than gymnastics, so I’m excited to learn about the race today, too.”
Approximately 35 runners from the 2013 Boston Marathon unable to finish the race due to the tragic bombings will complete the distance today by crossing the most famous finish line in sports – the Yard of Bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – just moments before the start of the 97th Indianapolis 500.
Boston Marathon participants from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan will run approximately one-half mile from Turn 4 to the Yard of Bricks on the front straightaway of the famed IMS oval.
All of the participants in the ceremonial run at IMS were halted short of the finish of the 26.2-mile race April 15 by officials after two explosions near the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials extended the invitation for runners to the Boston Athletic Association, which contacted non-finishers in Indiana and surrounding states.
JOE BRISENO (Boston Marathon participant, Mason City Ill.): “It is surreal. It is an opportunity to bring closure to what was otherwise a very tragic event in Boston. It’s redemption, healing, closure. It’s exciting. We’re treated like celebrities; it’s unreal. The love, the support; it’s just hard to put into words.”
RICHARD LIGHTBODY (Boston Marathon participant, Cleveland): “It’s a great experience to be here. I drove six hours to get here, and I brought my kids. They wanted to help me remember this event and participate in it. I have never been here before. I have read about the race and the stars. This is a terrific opportunity. I love the place; it’s beautiful. As I drove into the infield, this is spectacular. I am actually going to run over the bricks (start-finish line).”
NASCAR driver Brad Keslowski was at the track for his first view of the Indy 500. Keslowski flew out by helicopter before the race ended in order to get to his NASCAR race later on Sunday night. He had this to say.
“The 500 is a brand-new experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to run the Nationwide and Cup races here; I got a win on the Nationwide side and would like to get a win on the Cup side. Hopefully we can do that in August. I want to experience the IndyCar life here and see what it’s all about and how this race plays out. I’m really excited to be here. This is my first Indy 500. I’m here soaking in one of the biggest races of the year with one of the best guys here, Roger Penske (his NASCAR car owner). I am with my dad and crew chief Paul Wolfe. This is quite an experience already. I plan to be in the pits if they don’t kick me out. I have to leave a little early to make sure we get to Charlotte in time for the race.”
The next races in the Indy Car, series are in Detroit with a Saturday/Sunday Double Header June 1st and 2nd.