Tuesday, May 3, 2016

500 facts: Rain, rain ...

How many times was the Indy 500 washed completely out on race day?

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

click to enlarge foggdam-nt.jpg

Later this month, NUVO will present 500 facts about the Indy 500. Between now and then, we'll be sharing five facts per day from our upcoming story. 

It's a rainy morning, so here are five tidbits from our "Lousy weather" chapter:

170. There have only been three complete washouts — that’s nary a green flag — on race day. In 1915, the race was set for the Saturday before Memorial Day, but the track was drenched from downpours the day before. Sunday runnings were a no-no at the time, so the race ran in full on Monday, May 31. In 1986, the race was rained out on both Sunday, May 25 and Memorial Day, so officials pushed the race until the following Saturday. The 1997 race never got underway on Sunday, May 25, lasted for only 15 laps on Monday and finally finished surrounded by thinly-populated grandstands on Tuesday.

171. There have been two partial postponements. 1967 saw 18 laps complete on race day with the balance wrapping up the following day. 1973 was simply a mess. A red flag after a lap-one wreck was followed by rain on Monday, May 28; the rains came back before the green flew on Tuesday and weather ultimately shortened the race on Wednesday.

173. The race has been stopped four times and resumed the same day due to precip. Stoppages occurred two times in each of the 1926, 2004 and 2007 races, and once in 2001.

174. The 2004 race day saw the most rain. 3.8 inches, to be precise.

175. And an f-2 tornado, too. The twister that hit parts of Indy didn’t clip the track, but the victory celebration was moved inside.

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Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.

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