As well as Zanardi's gold medal helping speed Kanaan to victory, the driver revealed that there had been another, very sentimental momento with him in the cockpit of his car throughout the race.
"Nine years ago, I went to make a visit in a hospital here in Indy," he explained. "When I walked in, there was this girl. She was 14 years old. She had 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...
"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 has always protected me. My mother gave it to me. I want to give it to you," Kanaan continued. "I gave it to her. She survived. She is doing really well. We kept in touch.
"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," he said.