Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tony Kanaan tells the story of the good luck medal.

Perhaps it's just what the doctor ordered . Indycar's most popular driver, not only among the fams, but among the drivers as well, Tony Kanaan broke an 0-11 streak at Indianapolis today as he won the Indy 500. A race that had an unbelievable 68 lead changes, ended with quite possibly it's best ambassador in victory lane. TK's victory was not without it's myths, quite literally, as the story wa
s being told while Kanaan had yet spilled any of the winners traditional drink of milk. Kanaan's own words really say it best.

"Nine years ago, I went to make a visit in a hospital here in Indy. When I walked in, there was this girl. She was 14 years old. She just had a stroke. She was in a coma. She was going to get a surgery the next morning. I had this thing that my mom gave me. It was kind of a necklace to protect me, not to bring me luck, because you know the way moms are. She tells me to race slow, which is kind of stupid, but... So I took it out and I said to her mother, I don't know if you believe in these things, but I had this for a while. It always protect me. My mother gave it to me. I want to give it to you. She was like a life risk. I gave it to her. She survived. She is doing really well. We kept in touch in the past years. This year, four days ago, she showed up, gave me a letter with an envelope. I opened the letter. Here it was. She said that she had enough of luck in her life, she got married, and she wanted to give it back to me to bring me luck. So here it is. I think I'll retire that thing now." TK said.

He also had a gold medal from Alex Zanardi's paralympics win in hand cycling.

"Zanardi is here, as you know. He brought his Olympic gold medal. Right before the race, he gave it to Jimmy, Jimmy brought it to the bus. I was laying in bed. It was an hour before. Jim as I said, Zanardi asked you to rub it. I actually cuddled with the thing. Still in my bus." the newly minted Indy 500 champ added.

The IZOD Indycar series has struggled of late, perhaps TK's popular win can help give the sport a needed boost. What does it mean to be so well regarded? "Well, you know, first I think we can prove that theory that says that nice guys don't win. I guess we proved them wrong. Second, the 11 number never won here, so we made another history. Somebody told me that this morning. I didn't know if it was a negative or positive. I mean, this place, I've always said it, it's been special to me, and I meant that when I said that. I didn't have to win here. I said that out there. The fans, they actually spoiled me a little bit on my win. When I finished 11th here, starting dead last, I got out of the car and it was exactly the same. I already had felt a little bit, I hadn't drinked the milk, kissed the bricks, but it means a lot to me, because so many people I can feel they wanted me to win. It's such a selfish thing to do because what are they getting from it? I'm the one that gets the trophy. If you can bring some joy to them, and I think the best thing was try to put an exciting race for them. I said it before the race: I believed that this win was more for people out there than for me. I wanted it all my life. But over the years, I was kind of OK with the fact that I may never have a chance to win it. Then I started coming back here. From day one, it catches me by surprise, I can't walk out there, I couldn't before, I don't know now, maybe it's going to get worse, the parade, everywhere, it's just unbelievable. It's nice. I think wins are important, trophies are really nice, but what I'm going to take forever, it's definitely this." Kanaan said. 

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