Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan says he had enough to hold off Carlos Munoz for victory even if the race had run green to the finish.
A crash by Dario Franchitti meant the last two laps of the 2013 Indy 500 ran under yellow.
Before that, a shootout had been brewing between Kanaan and sensational rookie Munoz, who had qualified second for his IndyCar debut in the series' biggest race.
Kanaan said he had been impressed with Munoz all month, but that the 21-year-old would have 'learned some lessons' if he had tried to deny him a long-awaited Indy victory over the final laps.
"He was going to learn a lot in the last two laps, I can tell you that..." said Kanaan.
"He was going to love this place, but he was going to have to come back [to get a win].
"On Carb Day, he made a pass on me on the short chute. We don't do that very often. I didn't talk to him. I thought, 'This kid is good. If he manages to finish the race, he's going to finish well.'
"It was funny because in the race he got a hiccup in Turn 1. I put the same pass on him and thought 'here you go, kid'.
"With three to go, when I saw him behind me, I said, 'Alright, man, let's start the lessons here...' But it went yellow."
Kanaan admitted leading into the final stages was a vulnerable position given the amount of drafting and overtaking in the race, so was pleased he was not at the head of the field for what turned out to be the penultimate yellow.
"I didn't want to be in the lead because I knew I was going to get caught on the restart," he said.
"I was in the perfect place, exactly where I want to be, right behind the leader with three to go, because I knew a potential yellow could happen. And it happened."