The 2004 Indianapolis 500 was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30, 2004. It was part of the 2004 IndyCar Series season and the ninth Indy 500 sanctioned by the Indy Racing League. Buddy Rice won the pole position, the pit stop contest, led the most laps, and won the race for team owners Bobby Rahal and David Letterman.
After a morning rain delay, the race began two hours behind schedule. After 27 laps, rain began to fall again and threatened to wash out the rest of the day. After nearly two hours, the race resumed. The race was ended after 450 miles (180 laps), 50 miles or 20 laps short of the scheduled distance, when a severe thunderstorm, which eventually strengthened into an F2 tornado, formed in the area of the speedway, and Buddy Rice was declared the winner.
Rules changes were implemented before the start of the season, which reduced engine displacement from 3.5 L down to 3.0 L. In addition, on-board capacity of fuel was reduced from 35 gallons down to 30. The changes were made in an effort to curtail speeds, which had crept up into the low 230 mph range in 2003. It was also in the wake of a fatal accident at the Speedway. On October 22, 2003, during an