Why Indy 500 milk? How tradition of victory lane celebration started

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The 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (watch the 2020 Indy 500 on NBC and the NBC Sports app).  Year after year, we’ve watched the winners celebrate their victory by taking a swig of milk on the podium and sometimes even topping off the moment of triumph by pouring it on their heads … but how exactly did the Indy 500 milk tradition begin?

How Indy 500 milk tradition began

In 1933, after earning his second Indy 500 win, Louis Meyer requested a glass of buttermilk—a drink he often had as a refresher on hot days. In 1936, Meyer claimed his third Indy 500 title and this time, he was photographed with a glass of buttermilk in one hand and holding three fingers up on the other. The photo appeared in the paper the following day, catching the attention of a dairy industry executive who requested that milk would be available to the winner each year. It took some time for the tradition to stick. From 1947-1955, the winner received water in a silver cup, normally presented by track president and three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw, with the words ‘Water from Wilbur’ engraved on the cup.

In 1956, with Shaw having perished in a private plane crash in October 1954, the dairy industry posted a $400 bonus to the winner if they chose to drink milk in Victory Circle. And while the Shaw cup did remain for a few more years, milk has been part of the Indy 500 tradition ever since. Today, winners receive a $10,000 bonus from the American Dairy Association of Indiana.

Do you have to drink milk?

While drivers do have the choice, fans take the milk tradition very seriously. In 1993, driver and successful orange grove owner Emerson Fittipaldi wanted to promote the citrus industry and drank a bottle of orange juice after his second Indy 500 win. Fittipaldi was booed by fans, even after taking a sip of milk in an attempt to appease them. The decision tarnished his image for a period of time, and even got him booed at other IndyCar races.

RELATED: How to watch the 2020 Indy 500

Can drivers make requests?

Yes. Every year, each driver is polled before the race to see what type of milk (whole, 2% or fat-free) they would like if they were to win the event. Flavors are not allowed, but drivers can request lactose-free milk if they have an intolerance.

Who delivers the Indy 500 milk?

There are two designated milk people—dairy farmers voted in from the American Dairy Association of Indiana’s board with a two-year term. The rookie milk person brings milk to the winning mechanic and owner, while the second-year milk person delivers the milk to the winner of the race. In previous years, the milk and milk people have been transported with a police escort or armored truck.

Tune into the race on Sunday, August 23rd at 1 p.m. ET on NBC to find out who will be drinking the milk in Victory Circle.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series

After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi