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Tornado passes 6 miles south of 2004 Indy 500

Posted at 5:00 PM, May 16, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana weather took center stage in 2004, when the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 was tormented by weather challenges.

A super cell thunderstorm produced five tornadoes in the Indianapolis area the day of the race. One of those tornadoes was an F-2 with winds between 110 and 160 miles per hour that touched down 6 miles from the speedway shortly after the race was officially called because of the thunderstorm that it was produced from.

Multiple rain delays pushed the race start back two hours and after only 28 laps, another round of rain sent drivers back to the pits for almost two hours. 

This race went in the books as the wettest Indy 500 on record with 3.8 inches of rain. 

The competition was eventually called after 450 miles with Buddy Rice taking the win under caution. Bruno Junqueira was leading the race entering the final round of pit stops, but Rice regained the lead, and Junqueira wound up fifth.

The win went to Rahal Letterman racing, making for a very happy David Letterman.

Future winners Tony Kanaan finished second and Dan Wheldon finished third.

Rice had won the pole position, his team won the pit-stop challenge and he ultimately led the most laps in a clean sweep of May. 

NOTABLE: 2004 was the last time Indy would see concerts from David Bowie and Prince. Jessica Simpson sang the National Anthem before the race.

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