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Thunderstorms may interfere with 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday

By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 26, 2019, 12:12:07 PM EDT

The biggest race of the IndyCar Series season, also known as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," will take place this weekend as hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to gather at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Festivities began on Friday and will continue through the weekend with the race set to start Sunday, May 26, at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

Lightning from a thunderstorm early Friday forced officials to close entry gates temporarily.

Activities on Saturday's Legends Day were threatened by showers and thunderstorms.

Indy 500 Practice 2019

Scott Dixon of New Zealand drives into turn one during practice for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monday, May 20, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Indianapolis 500 is projected to start on time, but showers and thunderstorms may roll through before all 200 laps are completed.

Drivers must run 101 laps (just over 50 percent of the race) in order for it to be official.

Drivers and racing fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have to remain alert for some of the thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon to turn severe with damaging winds, hail and frequent lightning.

Use AccuWeather's MinuteCast® to monitor the threat for storms approaching Indianapolis this weekend.

Indy 500 May 25

High temperatures will be near 80 F on Sunday.

If the race cannot be completed on Sunday, it will be moved to Monday, Memorial Day.

"While there remains the chance for a shower or thunderstorm on Monday, it doesn't look to be an all-day or widespread event," Reppert said.

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The Indianapolis 500 has only had three postponements in its history, according to USA Today. The last time this occurred was in 1997. The race began on Monday that year, only to be postponed again after only 15 laps were able to be completed. The race was resumed and completed on Tuesday.

The last rain-shortened Sunday race was in 2007.

Download the free AccuWeather app to keep up to date on the latest forecast heading into Memorial Day. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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