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Road to 100: Many consider 1973 the worst year

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 17:08:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- After the Indiana Pacers won their third ABA Championship in May 1973, attention turned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and celebrating the 57th 500-mile race.

For the first time, the 500 Festival Parade took place during the day and moved to Saturday.

The theme was "Down Memory Lane," but it's a year many would rather forget.

Rain, anticipation of record speed, and tragedy defined the month.

Fans were excited about the possibility of seeing 200 mph speeds, but that excitement ended quickly.

Art Pollard was killed in an accident during Pole Day practice.

The race was just as tragic.

On the first race day, Monday, May 28, Salt Walther was severely injured along with 13 spectators in a fiery first lap crash.

Before the race could resume, rain brought the day to an early end.

More rain prevented the re-start on Tuesday.

Finally, on Wednesday, the race resumed.

Swede Savage was involved in a horrific accident that engulfed his car in flames on lap 58.

He died a little over a month later at Methodist Hospital.

Gordon Johncock eventually won the rain-shortened race on Wednesday after just 133 laps.

The 1973 race is considered the worst year ever by many for the 500.

MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

19721971 1970 | 1969 |19681967 | 1966 | 1965 | 1964 | 1963 | 1962 | 1961 | 1960 | 1959 1958 | 1957 | 1956 | 1955 | 1954 | 1953 | 1952 | 1951 | 1950 | 1949 |1948 1947 1946 1941 |  1940 | 1939 | 1938 | 1937 | 1936 | 1935 | 1934 | 1933 | 1932 | 1931 | 1930 | 1929 | 1928 | 1927 | 1926 | 1925 | 1924 | 1923 | 1922 | 1921 | 1920 | 1919 | 1916 | 1915 | 1914 | 1913 | 1912 | 1911 | Special Section: Road to 100 | Enter to win tickets to the Indy 500 | Start your engines: 100 stories in 100 days

Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. every night for our Road to 100, where we take a look back at each of the races leading up to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Want tickets to this year's race? Tune in to RTV6 News at 6 p.m. and watch for the daily trivia question and answer, then click here to enter the answer to be entered daily for your chance to win tickets to the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.

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