Arthur W. "Art" Graham, III, director of timing and scoring for the Indianapolis 500 between 1978 and 1997, passed away on Sunday, May 12. He was 67.
A native of Columbus, Indiana, but a longtime resident of Brownsburg, Indiana, Graham introduced many of the timing and scoring procedures currently being used in American open-cockpit open-wheel racing.
Graham was employed by IBM for 30 years, joining the company in 1962 and serving as a senior systems engineer between 1977 and 1992. A lifelong racing enthusiast, who recalled watching the first live television coverage of the "500" (in 1949) on a tiny screen through an appliance store window, Graham first became involved with the United States Auto Club while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1965. It wasn't long before he was serving on USAC's various competition commissions, and he eventually became chairman of the rules committee. In 1982, he was named to USAC's board of directors, remaining there until 1997.
Computers were already being used at Indianapolis when Graham first came onto the scene, but he did much to further incorporate their use into timing and scoring procedures. For many years, it was traditional for an all-night audit to take place, with the results not being officially posted until 8:00 a.m. on the morning following the race. By the late 1980s, under Graham's watch, they would be posted within a short time after the finish.
In the early 1990s, Graham began championing the cause of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, and later served for several years as the organization's secretary.
A great lover of big-band music, Graham was especially proud of being the Indiana representative of the Four Freshmen Society, and he had put in a considerable amount of effort toward the planning of a 60th-anniversary celebration of the group's formation, to be held in Indianapolis in August.
Survivors include wife Dina, daughter Susan L. Moore, sons Daniel A. and Matthew S. Graham, brother Andrew S. Graham, mother Martha S. Graham, and four grandchildren.
Visitation 4-8 p.m. Thursday May 15 at Conkle Funeral Home, 4925 West 16th Street, Speedway Indiana. Funeral, 10:00 a.m. Friday at Conkle's.
Contributions in Art's name are asked to be directed to the Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers Club, the USAC Benevolent Foundation or the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation.