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Good guy Kanaan conquers Indy at last

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Brazilian ends 12-year drought

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 8:06 pm

INDIANAPOLIS -- This was for the good guy. It was for perseverance and faith.

Twelve years of Indy 500 near-misses and heartbreak were over, and Sunday's celebration left Tony Kanaan dripping milk and emotion.

Indy 500 champ – at last. Can you believe it?

Of course there were tears and hugs and kisses.

How could there not be?

There was a promise to a son, and if reality might mean an altering of plans, it will be kept.

There was a good luck charm returned nine years after it helped a young girl win her battle with a brain aneurism.

There was, in the end, a moment to celebrate and after one second and two thirds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after 225 laps led with a victory, Kanaan finally had his.

Kanaan passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on a restart with three laps to go, then coasted to the victory under a caution when Dario Franchitti hit the wall well behind the leaders.

Rookie Carlos Munoz took second. Hunter-Reay was third. Marco Andretti, also shooting for his first Indy 500 victory that would have broken a 44-year family drought since grandfather Mario won here, finished fourth.

It was a race for the record book, from the number of drivers to lead at least one lap (14) to the number of lead changes (55) to the average speed (187.433 mph).