History behind Indy 500 winners drinking milk in Victory Lane

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Takuma Sato

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ever wondered why Indianapolis 500 winners drink milk?

The tradition dates all the way back to 1936, according to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That’s when Louis Meyer was photographed drinking milk in Victory Lane after winning his third Indy 500.

IMS says it was out of habit. Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day.

An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation was elated when he saw the photo. So, he vowed to make sure all Indy 500 winners would take a swig of milk at the finish line.

There was a period between 1947 and 1955 when milk was apparently no longer offered. But the practice revved back up in 1956 and has been a tradition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” ever since.

An Indiana dairy farmer traditionally hands the bottle of milk to the winning driver. This year, Kim Minich will do the honor. Andrew Kuehnert will award bottles of milk to the winning car owner and chief mechanic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.