Milk is the Winner’s Drink of Choice at the Indy 500

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For more than 50 years, winners of the Indianapolis 500 have downed a glass of regular pasteurized milk after finishing their race.

Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti drinking milk

Dario Franchitti, winner of the 2010 Indy 500

The tradition began in 1936 when Louis Meyer won his third Indy 500 and shortly after was photographed drinking buttermilk, a beverage that Meyer’s mother said would refresh him.

Drinking milk became part of the Victory Lane celebrations on and off for about 20 years after the photograph was taken and became a permanent fixture in 1956.

Now, victorious drivers emerge from their race cars and, after putting on their Victory wreath, reach for a cold glass of milk.

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