Indy 500 winner drinking from milk bottle during celebration tradition explained

Indy 500 winner drinking from milk bottle during celebration tradition explained

Explained why does the winner of the Indy 500 drink milk, a look at the Indy 500 milk tradition 

Every sport has its own unique traditions. Hockey players grow beards during the playoffs, baseball players don’t condemn a pitcher when he’s perfect, and Indy 500 winners drink milk in the Winner’s Circle.

The Indy 500 has numerous traditions, but only one driver gets to participate in the ritual of getting an entire bottle of iced milk thrown in their face.

Indy 500 winner drinking from milk bottle during celebration tradition meaning explained

Since 1956, the practise has topped off every race, but its origins actually go further back and deeper. The images are legendary, but this year, someone else will get to make the crucial decision: whole, 2 percent, or skim?

Why does the Indianapolis 500 winner drink milk?

Like any great story, this one has escalation in it. The cherished tradition of sipping milk was established by Louis Meyer in 1933, following his second Indianapolis 500 triumph. He sipped from a glass of milk while explaining that his mother had told him that a glass of buttermilk was the best thing to drink on a hot day.

Meyer had no concern for protocol after his third victory in 1936. He may have disgusted rather than amazed those around him by drinking milk straight from the bottle. Meyer drinking the milk was captured on camera, and a new tradition was formed.


But it took until 1956 for the practise to fully take off. Although there was a hiatus between 1946 and 1955, drivers still carry it out every year. Today, the choice of whole, 2 percent, or skim milk is presented to each driver before to the race.

Why did Emmerson Fittipaldi drink orange juice?

One driver, to use George Bluth Sr.’s phrase, decided to play it cool with the tradition, which might have resulted in a small amount of treason.

Emmerson Fittipaldi, owner of an orange grove, sipped orange juice in the winner’s circle in 1993 before immediately drinking the traditional milk. Not without cause, yet that combination is offensive.


Fittipaldi was booed for his wrongdoing, but he won the race. Last year, he was honoured by the Indiana American Dairy Association. Nobody should ever suggest that our Big Milk overlords aren’t amusing.

Can drivers drink buttermilk?

Do drivers want to consume buttermilk in this situation? The process for making buttermilk has changed over time. As a result of being mass-produced, it now has an unappealing sour taste.


Before consuming buttermilk, drivers will need to demonstrate their mettle, according to the Indy Star.

What milk did drivers select for 2023?

Drivers’ choices have been made for 2023. If a driver wins the race on Sunday, they will all be drinking the following beverages in the winner’s circle.

Driver Milk
Josef Newgarden Whole
Scott McLaughlin Whole
Pato O’Ward Whole
Helio Castroneves 2%
Felix Rosenqvist Whole
Alexander Rossi Whole
Marcus Ericsson Whole
Scott Dixon Whole
Alex Palou Whole
Takuma Sato 2%
Will Power Whole
Santino Ferrucci Whole
David Malukas Whole
Conor Daly Whole
Rinus VeeKay Whole
Ryan Hunter-Reay Whole
Stefan Wilson Whole
Colton Herta Whole
Kyle Kirkwood Whole
Romain Grosjean Skim
Devlin DeFrancesco Whole
Jack Harvey Whole
Ed Carpenter Whole
Katherine Legge Skim
Christian Lundgaard Whole
RC Enerson Whole
Sting Ray Robb Whole
Benjamin Pedersen 2%
Simon Pagenaud Whole
Tony Kanaan Whole
Callum Ilott Whole
Agustin Canapino Whole
Marco Andretti Whole

Indy 500 winners since 2010

Year Winning Driver
2022 Marcus Ericsson
2021 Helio Castroneves
2020 Takuma Sato
2019 Simon Pagenaud
2018 Will Power
2017 Takuma Sato
2016 Alexander Rossi
2015 Juan Pablo Montoya
2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay
2013 Tony Kanaan
2012 Dario Franchitti
2011 Dan Wheldon
2010 Dario Franchitti