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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AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”