Arthur Cross made his start in the sport of racing in 1938 in the midget car circuit. He took a break from racing to serve in WW II, winning a Purple Heart after getting wounded in the Battle of Bulge.
Art won the first official Rookie of the Year award after finishing fifth in the 1952 Indianapolis 500.
He finished second in the 1953 Indy 500 three and a half minutes behind Bill Vukovich. Despite it being one of the hottest Indy 500s on record, Bill and Art completed the entire race without taking a break. Driver after driver entered the pit area seeking a relief driver due to the heat, which helped Art climb through the field. After the race he remembered, "Every time I came up to pass somebody," he said, "I would look over and think 'That's not Sam Hanks; that's Duane Carter,' or 'That's not Jim Rathmann; that's Eddie Johnson."
Art used his take from that race ($27,297) to purchase a farm near LaPorte, Indiana, and didn't race again that year. He qualified for, and led laps in the 1954 and 1955 Indy 500s before he quietly retired from racing to run his farm.
I'm counting down the days until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
I'm not a race fan in the fanatic sense. I've only been to the Indy 500 a handful of times. My memories center around listening to the race on the radio in the backyard while filling out the leading laps grid from the Indianapolis Star.
I do love Indianapolis, tradition, and most of all a theme! Each day I will share a memory or tidbit of history.