INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – 2013 would be a record-breaking Indy 500. The race featured 68 lead changes, doubling the previous record of 34 set just a year prior.
Ryan Hunter-Reay led the field to the green flag on a restart with three laps to go, but Tony Kanaan, looking for his first win in 12 tries, quickly jumped to the inside, passing Hunter-Reay for the lead going into turn one.
That quick pass and 68th lead change of the race would prove critical because behind the leaders, 3-time race winner Dario Franchitti hit the wall in turn 1. The crash put the race back under caution.
With much of the crowd cheering as he made his way around the track, Kanaan completed the final laps of the race under caution and took the checkered flag.
On his victory lap, Kanaan was even saluted by the safety crew still on the track cleaning up the Franchitti crash.
In Victory Lane, Kanaan couldn’t contain his excitement, and recognized all the fans cheering him to the finish line in the closing laps.
”I got a little bit of luck today. And again, 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. Man, I can’t believe it,” Kanaan said.
“I mean, I’m speechless,” Kanaan continued. “You know, this is it man. I made it. Finally I’m going to put my ugly face on that trophy.”