Longtime Indianapolis 500 official Graham dies at 67
Arthur W. "Art" Graham III, director of timing and scoring for the Indianapolis 500 from 1978-97, died Sunday, May 11. He was 67.
A native of Columbus, Ind., but a longtime resident of Brownsburg, Ind., Graham introduced many of the timing-and-scoring procedures now 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 from 1977-92. 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 in 1965 while living in Cincinnati. 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 already were 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 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 his 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 is from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, May 15 at Conkle Funeral Home, 4925 W. 16th St. in Speedway, Ind. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Friday, May 16 at Conkle Funeral Home.