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Road to 100: 1975

Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 19:05:09-04

By 1975, race fans had known for decades what a special and hallowed place the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was. That year, the U.S. government made it official. 

On race day, May 25, 66 years after it opened, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

For the 59th 500, six previous winners were in the field of 33 looking to make history again, including three in the front row, AJ Foyt, Gordon Johncock and Bobby Unser.

But before a winner made his way into victory circle, fire and rain would make the day memorable. 

Lap 126, Tom Sneva, in just his second race, came off the second turn, went airborne, hit the wall and caught fire. Amazingly, he survived with just a few minor burns.     

Late in the race, Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford were battling it out when, out of nowhere, the heavens opened in a huge downpour.

The yellow came out, but the race wasn't red flagged immediately.  The cars sent up rooster tails as the drivers tried to carefully make their way around, some more successfully than others.       

The red and checkered flags came out together after 174 laps. The front straightaway barely visible, mother nature sealed Bobby Unser's fate, who was in the lead when the deluge hit.

He crept his way across the finish line for the second 500 win of his career. 

MORE ON THE ROAD TO 100

1974 | 1973 | 1972 1971 | 1970 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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