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).