INDIANAPOLIS – Fan and race favorite Tony Kanaan finally won his first Indianapolis 500. The crowd stood on its feet and cheered as he kissed his wife of two months and poured the milk over his head.
The crowd was not the only ones who were happy for Kanaan. He is very popular and well liked among his peers and last year’s winner Dario Franchitti stood by his crumpled car and gave Kanaan two thumbs up. He told the AP:
“When I saw who was leading, it cheered me up a little bit,” said Franchitti, last year’s winner. “He’s a very, very deserving winner.”
The majority of the crowd stayed as he took his victory lap with team owner Jimmy Vasser. From the AP:
“It means a lot to me because so many people, I could feel that they wanted me to win, and it’s such a selfish thing to do because what are they getting from it?” Kanaan said. “I’m the one who gets the trophy. I believed that this win was more for people out there than for me.
“I wanted it all my life, but over the years I was kind of OK with the fact that I may never have the chance to win.”
This was not the only historic occasion during the race. The average speed was 187.422mph, an Indy record. The noise from this video proves how fast the racers were driving. More records include 68 lead changes among 14 drivers. The previous record was 34 set last year. This was also the fastest race, clocking in at 2:40 for the entire 200 laps. The temperature was at 62 degrees, which kept the track nice and cool for the tires and helps the engines produce more horsepower. Rain was in the forecast, but stayed away all day.
Monday is Memorial Day, and the Indy 500 celebrated those who serve and sacrificed their lives to keep America’s freedom safe. Medal of Honor winners were celebrated before the race in individual cars and Taps was played as the spectators remembered those who passed on. Members of the military marched down the pit amid applause from the audience. A military flyover occurred during the climax of The Star Spangled Banner.
I was also able to go behind the scenes with a pit and garage access pass. Here are a few pictures from my experience. Yes, I kissed the infamous bricks. Indy 500 is definitely the greatest spectacle in racing.
All photos courtesy Mary Chastain, Breitbart Sports