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Indianapolis Motor Speedway plans record milk toast

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In 1936, Louis Meyer did not know that he would start one of the longest running traditions of the Indy 500.

Meyer regularly drank buttermilk after a race to refresh himself, so when he scored the 500 victory that year, he did so as a matter of course. An executive with the Milk Foundation saw a photograph of Meyer drinking and decided to make certain it was repeated in the coming years.

Now, some 80 years later, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is set to host the largest milk toast in history.

On race day, 100,000 pints of milk will be distributed by American Dairy Association (ADA) volunteers so that fans can join the winning driver in the tradition.

“Being a part of the victory celebration and that famous drink of milk, representing Indiana dairy farmers who produce the milk is a special thrill, honor and tradition of American Dairy Association Indiana,” said Deb Osza of the Indiana chapter of the ADA.

“Drinking the milk in Victory Circle is one of those special traditions that sets us apart from other events,” said J. Douglas Boles, President of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“This year, as we mark the 100th Running of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ we felt it was important to bring as many fans as possible into the mix. This 100,000-strong milk toast will be an epic part of an unforgettable Race Day.”

The pints of milk will be branded for the Indy 500, making them collectibles. And they will be available at retailers leading up to the race. This will allow fans to plan ahead and bring their own milk to the track. It also allows fans at home watching on television to participate.

Juan Pablo Montoya got to take the famous drink in 2015.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.