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1986 Indy 500: Rain delays the race for a week

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 08:48:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- 1986. Union Station in downtown Indianapolis reopened with a new lease on life.

With the heyday of the railroad years behind it, a renovated Union Station opened in April filled with bars, restaurants and shops.

But in a nod to the past, some of its most historic elements were preserved, like the grand hall and stately clock tower.

A newly-renovated Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway welcomed drivers for the 70th Indianapolis 500.

During the offseason, the old wooden garages were demolished in favor of new concrete garages that offered more room to work.

And they had a lot of time to work that year, a whole extra week, thanks to rain.

Rain washed out race day and the following day. 

With the forecasts not looking good, a deal was finally reached with ABC television to run the race the following Saturday.

A bright blue sky welcomed drivers and fans on Saturday, May 31.

Rick Mears was on the pole, but it soon became a three-way battle between Mears, Bobby Rahal and Kevin Cogan.

And it was quite the finish. After a restart with two laps to go, Rahal got the jump on Cogan and never looked back.

Rahal took the checkered flag and drove into a brand new Victory Lane that raised the car on a lift for all to see as it rotated 360 degrees. Rahal's one and only 500 win as a driver.

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