This weekend marked the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with racer Simon Pagenaud taking the checkered flag after a battle in the final laps with Alexander Rossi. An elated Pagenaud was draped in the traditional wreath of flowers and then handed something many Indy 500 winners have received for the past 82 years—a glass bottle full of milk.
The tradition began more than eight decades ago with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer. Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day and happened to drink some out of habit in Victory Lane after winning the 1936 race. An executive in the dairy industry was so excited to see the photo in the sports section of the local newspaper that he promised to make sure it would be repeated in coming years. The tradition was revived for good in 1956 and has been a practice ever since.
Milk in Victory Lane
Every year, the American Dairy Association of Indiana has on hand three bottles of milk (nonfat, 2% percent and whole milk) that in the past have been delivered to the track by help of a police escort or even armored trucks. This year, Pagenaud chose whole milk and celebrated by pouring it all over his head.
To read the rest of the story, please go to: International Dairy Foods Association