Rain Forecast For 103rd Running Of Indianapolis 500
Rain is as common to Indiana in May as basketballs are falling through hoops in January.
But basketball is played indoor and when it rains in May it’s not good news for the state’s signature event, the Indy 500.
The forecast for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26 is for rain – there’s a 60% chance of it – and in fact it’s been wet all week. Not only that, but rain is forecast to last until the next week meaning the race will be run… er, when?
Is it possible the Indy 500 will be rained out and not run at all? After all, IndyCars cannot race on an oval in the rain.
First of all, the race will not be rained out; it will be completed no matter how many days it takes to get in the required number of laps. The race is considered complete after 102 laps (255 miles).
In fact, long delays have happened in the past. In 1986, the race was not completed until the following Saturday. As recently as 1997, it extended into Tuesday.
There have also been several postponements in the race’s history, with it finishing the next day. It has also ended before 500 miles have been completed.
Johnny Rutherford won in 1976 when the race was called after 102 laps. In 2007, Dario Franchitti took the checkered flag after 166 of the scheduled 200 laps were run with the cars finishing in a downpour.
So the race will be run regardless of when it ends, tho if rain lingers into the week it could affect other events in the NTT IndyCar Series. For decades, the traditional post-Indy 500 race was the Milwaukee Mile, but with that race no longer in existence, it’s now the grueling double-race on the streets of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on June 1-2.
What will happen with that event if the rain persists will be decided during the week depending on the conditions and situation at the time. The teams will need time to prepare the cars and there is travel time to get to Detroit, set up, etc.
But know one thing: the Indy 500 takes priority over any other races on the schedule and the 103rd race will be run, come you-know-what or high water.