Weather has completely postponed the Indy 500 three times. The first was back in 1915. They postponed that one the day before because it had been so wet. It was completed on Monday.
A completed rainout didn’t happen again until 1986, when the race was cancelled in the morning. The next day was also washed out. It was completed the following Saturday.
The last complete postponement of the Race was in 1997. The rain remained the next day, and the race was stopped after just 15 laps Monday. They finally finished Tuesday. Obviously, when it’s rained…it’s poured.
Rain in 1976 led to the shortest race ever: 102 laps…
The 1973 race was horrible for many reasons, including the weather. The scheduled race day (a Monday) was delayed for hours. It wasn’t completed until Wednesday, when rain stopped it after 133 laps…
1926: 160 laps (400 miles)
1950: 138 laps (345 miles)
1973: 133 laps (332.5 miles) (Horrible for many reasons aside from weather.)
1975: 174 laps (435 miles)
1976: 102 laps (255 miles) (Shortest Race ever)
2004: 180 laps (450 miles)
2007: 166 laps (415 miles)
In 2004 the start was delayed about two hours by morning rain. They ran 27 laps, and then rain forced another delay. Severe weather moved into the area and the race was called after 180 laps. There was a tornado warning that included the Speedway, and an F2 tornado on the city’s southeast side did some serious damage. The victory celebration had to be moved inside because of lightning fears. That day the Airport measured 3.8 inches of rain. That the biggest official Indy total ever on a Race Day.
In 2007 rain caused the race to be stopped on lap 113 for several hours. They re-started, but more rain caused the race to be called on lap 166.
In 2001, the race was stopped on Lap 155 due to rain. The race was restarted after a 16 minute, 34 second delay.
In 2013 there was rain two counties to the west of the track by the end of the race, but the race finished fine.
In 2015 there were brief showers to the north and east, but again: nothing at the track.
In 2016 The Airport reported a trace of precipitation, and I guess there was a sprinkle at one point at the Speedway. I did see a report that the sprinkle quickly grew into a shower once it was east of the track. Storms were firing as close as the northwest corner of 465 and eventually in Hamilton County at one point later in the Race.
RECENT RACE DAY HIGHS:
85 in 2016
85 in 2015
79 in 2014
68 in 2013
91 in 2012
88 in 2011
89 in 2010
86 in 2009
There was a toasty trend from 2009-2012, finishing with a tie for the second warmest Race Day ever. The high of 91 in 2012 tied with 1953 and 1919.
The coolest stretch of years ended about a decade ago. SIX of the top 12 coolest Race Days occurred between 1992 and 2003, including back-to-back Race Days in the 60s in 2000/2001.