Rewind: 2013 Indianapolis 500

By: Spencer Neff
May 25, 2023

On Sunday, 33 drivers will take to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented By Gainbridge. Since the inaugural running on May 30, 1911, the “500” has become “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”,

74 drivers have gone to Victory Lane as winner of this race. In the latest edition of Rewind, IndyCar1909 goes back to 2013 and a hard-fought victory for one of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s most decorated stars.

Kanaan earns long-awaited “500” win

Following a record-setting “500” in 2012, the second year of the Dallara-DW12 chassis (named for two-time race winner Dan Wheldon) promised more of the same, particularly on an overcast and cooler day, in contrast to a scorching hot day a year earlier.

In his 10th start, local favorite and stepson of IMS President Tony George, won his first pole for the race and became the first Owner/Driver to do so in 37 years.

Race Recap

From the start, Carpenter would see his fiercest competition from the likes of third-place starter Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan, starting 12th for his 12th start in this race.

Two years after a heartbreaking last-lap crash in Turn 4 cost him a chance at the win as a rookie, Panther Racing’s JR Hildebrand crashed out of the race after spinning in Turn, prompting the first caution of the day.

Carpenter and Munoz were two of the major headlines during the 2013 race. ( Image By Forrest Mellott/INDYCAR)

From the Lap 7 restart, the trio of Kanaan, Carpenter and Andretti swapped the lead 10 times in the first 30 laps. The cool conditions put the draft into the main focus, even as fuel was an underlying concern.

During the opening round of pit stops, Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Saavedra made contact with the Turn 4 wall, prompting the second caution of the day on Lap 35. As the field cycled through, Carpenter made his way back to the front. Leading his first laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2012 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay ld his first laps in the race.

After crashing from second on the last lap in 2012, Takuma Sato would again see his luck at the Indianapolis 500 turn south. On Lap 57, Sato would spin on the exit of Turn 2. Fortunately for the points leader, he was able to continue on.

The Lap 61 restart would begin an unprecended 133-lap stretch of green-flag conditions. During this run, the 2012 record of 34 lead changes was broken. Looking to deliver a 16th victory to Roger Penske, rookie AJ Allmendinger made his way from fifth to the lead. Following a suspension from NASCAR in 2012, Allmendinger was primed to make the most of his return to open-wheel competition.

Unfortunately, the seat belt on his No. 2 entry got loose prompting an unscheduled pit stop. On Lap 194, the green-flag run was broken when Graham Rahal crashed in Turn 2.

Following a clean-up, the four-car battle for the win was set with three laps to go. Hunter-Reay led Kanaan, rookie Carlos Munoz (who finished fourth in Friday’s Freedom 100 as part of a four-wide photo finish) and Andretti.

Kanaan sliced his way to the lead before Turn 1 on the restart, with Munoz settling in second. Further back, three-time race winner Dario Franchitti made contact with the outside wall in the south chute. The resulting caution would seal an emotional victory for Kanaan. In his 12th start, the popular Brazilian would earn his biggest victory, with the Andretti trio of Munoz, Hunter-Reay and Andretti following him.

Kanaan takes the checkered flag under caution (Pete Howard/INDYCAR)


Last year, Kanaan finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing, his best finish since winning the race in 2013. On Sunday, he starts ninth in his 22nd and final “500”. After leading 37 laps (the fewest by any driver to lead the most in a “500”, Carpenter finished 10th. Since then, he won two more poles (2014 and 2018) adding a runner-up finish in the latter year. He will start 13th in his 20th “500”.

Munoz duplicated his runner-up effort in 2016 but has not made a start in the last five years.

After falling to third, Hunter-Reay would earn his first victory at IMS a year later following a duel with Helio Castroneves.

Celebrating with the ceremonial bottle of milk (Michael Roth/INDYCAR)

The 187.433 mph average speed broke the 1990 record and stood until 2021, when Kanaan’s long-time friend Helio Castroneves won in a record 190.690. The 14 lead changes would stand until 2017-2018, which featured 15 lead changes. The race’s 68 lead changes are still a race record.

Following his fourth-place finish, Andretti took the points lead. On Sunday, he starts 24th in his 18th “500”, still in search of his first win.

Header Image By Forrest Mellott/INDYCAR


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