1986: Computer program to calculate Indy 500 prize money in record time

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 05:30:16-04

SPEEDWAY — After the checkered flag waved and once the race results were certified, officials from the United States Auto Club (USAC) had to manually add up the winnings for each driver in the Indianapolis 500.

But the days of pencil and paper addition came to an end in 1986 when Micro Data Base Systems of Lafayette introduced a new computer program to tabulate the winnings.

“This year, for the first time, we’re doing it by computer,” said a USAC official.

“We’re actually going to be using software that has artificial intelligence within that software that’ll help us, according to a certain set of rules, help the computer think through the process and create that dollar number for us.”

What usually took hours, could now be done in minutes, setting yet another new track record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.