Popular Brazilian Tony Kanaan ended 12 years of heartbreak and frustration and won the Indianapolis 500 today on a day that saw a record 68 lead changes and a record average speed of 187.433mph. It was also the coolest day in a decade at the speedway, but it didn't keep Kanaan from celebrating with the traditional celebration of milk after his victory. Even the losers were pleased with the outcome, evidenced by a scene similar to rivals lining up to congratulate Dale Earnhardt when he finally won the Daytona 500 on his 20th try.
Dario Franchitti, whose crash brought out the race-ending caution, stood grinning by his crumpled car, two thumbs up as Kanaan passed under yellow. "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." In all, Kanaan went into today's race with 221 laps led at Indy (more than any non-winner except Michael Andretti and Rex Mays) but his second-place finish to Buddy Rice in 2004 was the closest he had come to victory. Carlos Munoz, a 21-year-old Colombian making his first IndyCar start, finished second, and defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was third. Click to read about Kanaan's past failed chances at victory.