Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan hits big payday

He bought a Ferrari after winning the 2004 IndyCar championship. What will he purchase with his Indy 500 winnings of $2,353,355?

INDIANAPOLIS – After he won a record-breaking championship in 2004, Tony Kanaan bought a Ferrari. After winning a record-breaking Indianapolis 500, he plans to buy a house.

Only hours earlier, Kanaan commemorated a popular victory in the 97th Indianapolis 500, his first in 12 tries to win the historic race.

Deprived of sleep yet none the worse for wear after a night of celebrating, Kanaan arrived early Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center to kick off what will undoubtedly be one of the busiest weeks of his career.

His victory earned him $2,353,355 from an overall purse of $12,020,065, so he may have a little more money to play with on the real estate market.

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Kanaan led 34 laps, including the final three, when he pulled away from rookie Carlos Munoz on a restart just before Dario Franchitti crashed, bringing a caution that essentially ended the race. On Monday morning, Kanaan knew what winning the Indy 500 felt like. Now he wants to know what it feels like to win it again.

"What drives us to do it again is the feeling you get afterward," Kanaan told USA TODAY Sports. "The feeling of this is what you get addicted to. I think what drives us in trying to get another one is what I felt after the race. Now I can tell you that this is the motivation. Before, I didn't know what to expect. I was like, 'Man, can I do this?' "

"I added 9,000 new followers from last night to this morning," he said with a laugh. "It is kind of a big deal. Now I know what it is. Now I know why Dario is so hooked up and always wants to come back and win it again."

Kanaan's championship set records for most completed laps (3,305, or every lap possible) and consecutive top-five finishes (15). Sunday's Indy victory set records for overall speed (187.433 mph) and lead changes (68). It also set a record for Kanaan's Twitter handle, @TonyKanaan, which now has more than 600,000 followers.

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