Milk and Racing: The Indy 500’s Strange Obsession With Milk

Scott Dixon drinks the ceremonial winner's milk over in victory lane in celebration of winning the 2008 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Source: (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

In May, racing fans turn their attention to Indianapolis for the annual race that has been held there since 1911—the Indianapolis 500. The sporting event is steeped in history and tradition, but none as strange as the one in which the race’s winner chugs a bottle of milk as soon as they cross the finish line. As sports traditions go, this one is weird, even if it does promote healthy bones. Let us look at how the Indy 500’s milk obsession began and what it means to the racing event today.