IndyCar-Tony Terrific! Kanaan Takes Indy 500

SPEEDWAY, IN (MAY 27, 2013)- After 12 long years of heartbreak, near misses and flat out bad luck, Tony Kanaan finally broke through to win his first Indianapolis 500, as well as the first IZOD IndyCar Series victory for KV Racing Technology. In a race that featured 68 lead changes among 14 drivers, the 2013 Indy 500 is surely one we’ll talk about for years to come.

On a day when rain threatened the speedway, the race managed to go off with no rain delays or any stoppages. Ed Carpenter led the field to the green flag and proceeded to lead the early stages of the race. The first caution fell on Lap 4 when driver of the #4 National Guard Chevrolet, J.R. Hildebrand, lost the back of the car and spun into the SAFER barrier.

J.R. HILDEBRAND- “I just got loose, and I was trying to stay on the outside while giving (James Hinchcliffe) enough room to pull out. I just got loose and saved it once. But couldn’t save it twice, and at that point, it just went around. I feel terrible for the guys. We worked really hard on having a race car that we thought we could run up to the front with. We needed to get through the first stint to see that happen. I’m not sure, given the situation, there was much I was going be able to do at that point. It’s so unfortunate, obviously here on Memorial Day weekend with the National Guard. We were set up for a good day. Just really disappointed.”

Charlie Kimball reports an electrical problem during the caution and was forced to pit. Also, many drivers further back in the field decided to come in to pit. A.J. Allmendinger and Katherine Legge elected to take four tires and fuel. James Jakes, Simona de Silvestro and Graham Rahal all took fuel only.

Green flag racing resumes on Lap 7 with Ed Carpenter leading Marco Andretti and E.J. Viso. Tony Kanaan takes the lead for the first time on Lap 9, passing both Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter for the position. For a long time afterwards, Kanaan, Andretti, Munoz and Carpenter all trade the lead multiple times. Honestly, we’re talking about a race here with 68 lead changes, so it would take forever to mention every lead change. Notable is James Jakes leading the 500 for the first time in his career on Lap 33.

Caution comes back out on Lap 35 as Sebastian Saavedra got pinched into the grass in Turn 4 and then spun into the barrier. His car severely damaged, the day was over for the crew of the #6 TrueCar Chevrolet. On Lap 39, Ed Carpenter has a bit of a derp moment as he runs off into the grass while warming his tires. Seems Ed got a bit distracted and forgot he was running out of track.

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA- “It’s sad the way the month had to finish. I have had amazing support from all of my sponsors, TrueCar, and the No. 6 crew. We had an amazing car that was drilling its way from the back to the front. Unfortunately, circumstances happen that come out of your hands and destroyed our chances of showing our true potential today. Something needs to be done to help prevent these kinds of situations from happening. I want to thank my team again for all of their hard work they put into giving me a fast car.”

Green comes back out on Lap 43 with Ed Carpenter leading Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay to the line. During the caution, there was an investigation launched into the running order. When things were cleared up, Simona de Silvestro was issued a drive through penalty for hitting pit equipment, but James Jakes and Graham Rahal were each assessed a $10,000 fine for blend line violations. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but officials said it was a violation of Rule 7.1.3.2.6. Pippa Mann retires on Lap 63 due to contact.

JAMES JAKES- “It was a pretty good day. Early on, we led a couple laps, had fastest lap and had it going on pretty early. Unfortunately, I made a mistake coming into the pits. I forgot to reset the weight jacker and took out the crew. Then I had a drive-through (penalty). There wasn’t a caution from then on, so our day was kind of set then. It is frustrating for the 16 car because we had a great car early on and couldn’t capitalize on it.”

PIPPA MANN- “I’m furious over Race Control and Graham Rahal. Everybody around me was racing under the yellow for position. I tried to go around Graham on green and brushed the wall. What happened out there was a really big shame. The Cyclops Gear was really fast, and we were moving up through the field fairly nicely. Under the yellow flag period, a lot of cars pitted and then stood on the gas after the blend line on pit lane exit, and blended in front of me when they shouldn’t have been there. I was told to re-take my position, which I tried to do, and then there was some very aggressive re-passing going on under yellows, with cars that were meant to be lined up behind me. Graham Rahal was one of them, and I’ve since heard that he’s been fined by Race Control, but regardless, he was in front of me on the restart. I caught him a couple of laps later as he was moving around in front of me, and I made a rookie mistake in his dirty air and hit the wall. I’m pretty frustrated  right  now – for  sure with myself, but also with Race Control and Graham, too. There was also an incident earlier in the race, and I know Sebastian (Saavedra) is really furious at me right now. It’s so unfortunate. I was just trying to avoid Buddy Lazier  in front of me. I don’t know why, but he (Lazier) was off the pace in between Turns 3 and 4, and to avoid hitting him I had to stand on the brakes. I very nearly lost my car because of that, and then I looked in my mirrors and saw Sebastian spinning. I feel incredibly bad for him and his crew, and for the work they will subsequently have to do.”

Another yellow period begins on Lap 57 for a spin by Takuma Sato. There was no damage, and Sato was able to quickly rejoin the field. Everyone in the field except for Sato and Katherine Legge enter the pits, with Ryan Hunter-Reay gaining the top spot after the cycle.

Green flag racing returns on Lap 61 with Ryan Hunter-Reay leading Marco Andretti and Ed Carpenter. Buddy Lazier is forced to abandon on Lap 66 with fuel pressure issues. Josef Newgarden reports problems with bottoming out, and is relegated to the pits on Lap 69. Green flag racing is the rule until lap 194 with Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Carpenter, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, E.J. Viso, Carlos Munoz, A.J. Allmendinger, Alex Tagliani, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon all taking turns up front.

BUDDY LAZIER- “On that first fuel stint, we got low on fuel and lost fuel pressure, and we could never get it back. It was something electronic or mechanical; we can’t tell for sure. It was missing bad enough that you can’t run the speed to stay out there. And it was only getting worse and we wanted to keep it from getting expensive. My frustration came when the field came by the second time when I was sitting in the pits. You know what that means. I’ve been around long enough to know you’re just not going to make up four laps. The car was actually very good in the first stint. We had a little miscommunication on the first pit in, but that didn’t hurt. It’s easy to say now, but I really think we would have had a good car around the fifth stint of the seven to 12 stints you can do. I think the car would have been really good at the end. I was actually very pleased with the way it was coming to me. It’s incredibly frustrating, but I can’t blame anyone. The crew has worked incredibly hard after getting a late start. Whatever went wrong, we’re going to learn from it and make sure it never happens again. I hope like hell to come back and race here again, and to come back with a full effort. It was great to be back, but I tell you, I’m here to race, the juices were flowing, I had a decent race car and I felt like by the end of the event, we would really be able to get with it. ”

On Lap 194, Graham Rahal does a half spin and parallel parks his car alongside the wall in Turn 2. Rahal is able to climb from his car, but it’s damaged beyond all repair. Will Power is forced to pit on Lap 196, and the green is thrown on Lap 197.

GRAHAM RAHAL- “We had a pretty good day. Unfortunately there was one pit stop that was absolutely terrible. After fighting from 26th up to ninth, or wherever we were at that point, I think we probably lost another six or seven positions on that stop so we put ourselves in a bad spot and tried to gamble a little bit on the last stint and pit early in the hope that maybe we would catch a yellow, or there would be something like that. To be totally honest with you, the car all day was a bit neutral, a bit nervous. I tried to keep adjusting it and had several massive snaps, so I’m surprised we made it that far. The guys worked awfully hard, so I’m obviously pretty bummed for the team and for Midas. I told dad the lap before, ‘This thing is getting really loose.’ I tried to hold on to it, but I was fully off the throttle, and that was it. I was probably pushing too hard to make up some spots, and it snapped sideways in Turn 2. I tried to save it, and it didn’t come back, unfortunately. I thought it was a great race. We geared too short, so I don’t think there was any way we could win today, anyway. I couldn’t pass anybody. I would get in a big tow, and I would pull up and just stop. We didn’t have enough sixth gear in the thing. But that’s the way it is. Sometimes you miss it. We’ll come back next year and do a better job.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay leads the field to green on Lap 197, and is quickly passed by Tony Kanaan and Carlos Munoz. On Lap 198, Dario Franchitti slides out of the racing line, putting his #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda into the outside barrier between Turns 1 and 2. The caution comes out, and it becomes obvious that the race is going to end under caution, and Tony Kanaan is going to pick up the victory.

DARIO FRANCHITTI- “Sums up our day. Our car was never really good all day. In traffic, we couldn’t make anything happen. It was loose in the middle, big understeer. The guys tried something, and we didn’t take tires. I was just going backward, sliding around on those old tires. I went into the first corner on the last restart, and it just didn’t turn and then the hit. The big, old hit. When I saw who was leading (Kanaan), it cheered me up a little bit. Great, just phenomenal that Tony won. We had a crap day. We were never in contention ,but I’m just so happy he won. He’s a very, very deserving winner.”

RESULTS

1.  (12) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

2.  (2) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

3.  (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

4.  (3) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

5.  (14) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

6.  (8) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

7.  (5) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

8.  (21) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

9.  (19) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

10.  (1) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

11.  (13) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

12.  (23) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

13.  (18) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

14.  (16) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

15.  (29) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

16.  (28) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running

17.  (24) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

18.  (4) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

19.  (6) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 200, Running

20.  (20) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 199, Running

21.  (9) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 199, Running

22.  (31) Conor Daly, Dallara-Honda, 198, Running

23.  (17) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 197, Contact

24.  (11) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 196, Running

25.  (26) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 193, Contact

26.  (33) Katherine Legge, Dallara-Honda, 193, Running

27.  (22) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevy, 192, Running

28.  (25) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 191, Running

29.  (15) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 178, Contact

30.  (30) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 46, Contact

31.  (32) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevy, 44, Mechanical

32.  (27) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 34, Contact

33.  (10) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevy, 3, Contact

Race Statistics

Winner’s average speed:  187.433

Time of Race: 02:40:03.4181

Margin of victory: Under Caution

Cautions: 5 for 21 laps

Lead changes: 68 among 14 drivers

Lap Leaders

Carpenter 1 – 8

Kanaan 9

Carpenter 10 – 12

Kanaan 13 – 14

Andretti 15 – 16

Kanaan 17 – 20

Andretti 21 – 22

Kanaan 23

Andretti 24 – 26

Kanaan 27 – 28

Andretti 29

Hunter-Reay 30

Power 31 – 32

Jakes 33 – 37

Carpenter 38 – 42

Andretti 43

Carpenter 44 – 50

Andretti 51 – 53

Carpenter 54 – 58

Hunter-Reay 59 – 60

Andretti 61

Hunter-Reay 62 – 63

Carpenter 64 – 72

Kanaan 73 – 74

Power 75 – 88

Kanaan 89

Viso 90

Munoz 91 – 92

Kanaan 93 – 97

Allmendinger 98 – 111

Kanaan 112

Andretti 113 – 114

Kanaan 115 – 120

Hunter-Reay 121

Munoz 122

Tagliani 123

Bell 124

Hinchcliffe 125

Andretti 126 – 130

Hunter-Reay 131

Viso 132 – 135

Hunter-Reay 136

Allmendinger 137 – 142

Hunter-Reay 143 – 144

Castroneves 145

Andretti 146 – 150

Hunter-Reay 151

Munoz 152 – 154

Dixon 155

Hinchcliffe 156 – 157

Hunter-Reay 158 – 164

Allmendinger 165 – 167

Andretti 168

Hunter-Reay 169

Andretti 170

Hunter-Reay 171

Andretti 172 – 173

Kanaan 174

Andretti 175

Kanaan 176 – 177

Munoz 178

Andretti 179

Munoz 180 – 184

Hinchcliffe 185 – 188

Kanaan 189

Hunter-Reay 190

Kanaan 191 – 192

Hunter-Reay 193 – 197

Kanaan 198 – 200

Quotes

TONY KANAAN (#11 Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology Chevrolet)- “I don’t know how to start. But we had a great car. I knew that from the get-go. We had a great plan. I mean, it’s one of those days, man. Everything was so smooth. Jimmy was calm. I was calm. Nobody yelling, anything. I felt it was everything under control.But I had 11 times that I’ve been here the same thing. So when it was six laps to go, went yellow, I wasn’t in the lead, I said, This might be the day, today might be the day, because I was in Ryan’s position plenty of times.I knew I had to get the lead on the restart because it could be a yellow, which happened to me plenty of times here, and it did. How life is funny. The yellow was my best friend.People are saying he did it on purpose. Obviously not. I can see him mad out of the car. When he saw I was in the lead, he was shaking his head, like waving at me. It was special, very special.I never had a doubt I could win this thing. I talked about it many times that I could do it or not, but this place is still going to be special. Today it worked. It was a lot of numerology. If we talk about Jenna Fryer, Jimmy, Zanardi, I don’t know, man. The 11 and 12 haunt us the entire month. I think we’re going to be 1112 is going to be my number next year (laughter).Every time I got married, I won a championship or a race. I’m okay, honey, I don’t want to win anything anymore. I’m good (laughter)”

CARLOS MUNOZ (#26 Unistraw Andretti Autosport Chevrolet)- “I really wanted to fight for the win. Maybe I could win. Maybe not, but I really wanted to fight. I have nothing to be ashamed of. To be second and a rookie and the best of the team is a great job. At the beginning I was a little bit nervous with the pit stops, but in the end, the car was great, and it’s a good second place. Hopefully in the future, I will be able to drink milk. Right now I’m thirsty, but hopefully it’s in the future for me.” (Do you wonder what would have happened if the race stayed green?): “It’s racing. You don’t know what could have been. I think I had a great car and a great shot to overtake (Tony Kanaan) on the front straight. But you never know. He did a great job.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#1 DHL/Sun Drop Andretti Autosport Chevrolet)- (About when the last caution came out): “That’s just the way it works out. That was bad luck. We were leading on that last restart. 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. There was a crash in Turn 1, and the race ended. It’s unfortunate. 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. I think the DHL No. 1 Chevy was the car to beat today. Had we been at the right place at the right time, I’m confident we would have won it, and that’s just the way this place goes.” (About the pace of the race): “Yeah, it was great the whole day. We just worked with our teammates, and I worked with a bunch of guys you can trust racing around, you know, so that was a lot of fun. But man those last few laps, Michael (Andretti) coming on the radio saying, ‘Seven to go,’ and I’m like: ‘This is our day, we have to make it happen,’ and then the yellow came out. I couldn’t believe it. We had some lap traffic coming up. Had I got to that lap traffic, we were one of the stronger cars in a big group. Unfortunate, but it works out that way. This entire Andretti Autosport team did a great job all month. Thanks to all the fans for coming out, and congratulations to TK.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (#25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet)- “When we stopped for the trim adjustment, we were in the worst-case scenario. We got stuck behind some teammates. It was fun for a while, but we just got shuffled back. I knew it was going to come down to that at the end.”

JUSTIN WILSON (#19 Boy Scouts of America Dale Coyne Racing Honda)- “It was tough to get by out there, so much turbulent air. Everybody was quick, and we just couldn’t get close enough. I think we had a great run today; the draft had such a huge effect. You couldn’t keep your head straight due to the turbulence. It was tough. Our second set of tires had an issue. We dropped all the way back, then fought back up. It was a great month.”