“I’m actually happy we got third. I figured with that restart, being first, we would have been shuffled back to fourth or so.”
Kanaan dove below Hunter-Reay right at the start/finish line, a maneuver that put his face on the illustrious Borg-Warner trophy.
“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,” Kanaan said. “How life is funny. The yellow was my best friend.”
Hunter-Reay led 26 laps and was a consistent car near the top of the grid from start to finish. The driver of the No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet led 13 different times.
“I had a blast in the car,” Hunter-Reay said. “It’s almost nerve-wracking when the car is that good.”
Fourth place finisher Marco Andretti led a race-high 15 different times for 31 laps and is now the series points leader by 11 points over Takuma Sato.
The traditionally fast Target Chip Ganassi team struggled throughout the day and never contended. Three-time 500 winner and last year’s defending winner Franchitti finished 23rd after his wreck. 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon finished 14th. The other two Ganassi cars, Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe, finished ninth and 12th respectively.
“I was kind of at the back of it (pack of lead lap cars) most of the time,” Dixon said. “Just problems after problems really.”
Pole sitter Ed Carpenter led a race-high 37 laps and finished 10th. The Indianapolis native was up front through the first half of the race before falling back through the race.
“We had a good car,” Carpenter said. “It was a tough race. It was so competitive. If you make one little mistake, then you would get shuffled back. We were a little conservative early and didn’t have the right amount of downforce compared to some guys and that did us in the end.”