Parnelli Jones, the winner of the 1963 Indy 500 who was reunited with his winning car (LEFT) on Legends Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, offered his thoughts Monday about this year's winner, Tony Kanaan.
"I cannot think of a more deserving winner of the Indianapolis 500," said Jones. "Tony drove a great, hard fought race and did a tremendous job on the track. It was a fun race to watch with all the lead changes and thankfully a very safe race without many yellow flags, which meant Tony won the race in record time.
"I'll tell you one thing, I was watching the race from the Pagoda and the fans were sure happy to see Tony win – it seemed like they were behind him all afternoon. They cheered like hell and you could really hear them above the sounds of the engines when he was leading.
"I talked to Tony in the Green Room before the race and he was quietly confident and seemed very calm – by not putting additional pressure on yourself, when you relax, it is sometimes easier to succeed.
"For a while there I was afraid Tony was going to the be the next Lloyd Ruby and never make it to Victory Lane at Indy. After 11 tries at Indy ending in bad luck and frustration I was happy to see him drinking milk and getting his photo with the Borg-Warner Trophy – he sure earned it.
"Tony will represent Indianapolis Motor Speedway well and the race well as a winner – I welcome him the the 'club,' he's great with the fans and class act, that's for sure. Congratulations Tony!"