The restart came on lap 197 with Hunter-Reay leading Kanaan at the green flag; Kanaan had just ducked underneath Hunter-Reay for the lead and Munoz round the outside for second place when Dario Franchitti capped a thoroughly mediocre race for the Ganassi #10 by understeering into the wall to bring the yellows out again: for a few seconds no one quite realised the significance, but this close to the finish there was no chance of the wreck being cleared up in time to attempt a restart. With no equivalent to the NASCAR green-white-chequered system, the race would end under yellow with the field frozen as it stood.
It was no four-wide photo finish as had been the case in Friday's Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 (in which ironically Munoz had been the big loser as the line) but it was no less popular a result for all that: Tony Kanaan had finally won the Indianapolis 500 at his 12th attempt having finished second in 2004, third twice in 2003 and 2012 and fourth in 2011.
He was surely due this final step up to the top of the podium, and it seemed the entire Indianapolis Motor Speedway was delighted to join in the celebrations, including Alex Zanardi who had been on hand before the race to allow Kanaan a rub of his Paralympics gold medal for good luck - which had clearly paid off in spades.
You'd have thought that coming home in second in his first Indy 500 would have had Carlos Munoz jumping around in ecstasy after finishing in second ahead of Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Wilson, Castroneves, Allmendinger, Pagenaud, Kimball and Carpenter. But no: the Colombian looked crestfallen that after completing 200 laps and 500 miles of an inch-perfect début at IMS he had come within inches of a famous victory for the second time in just 48 hours.
It's clear that the 21-year-old has a great future ahead of him in the sport, maybe even one to match his compatriot and idol Juan Pablo Montoya. But as for the present, that belongs to Tony Kanaan.
Finally. And deservedly.
Full race results
and championship standings
are now available.