The Drink of Milk in Victory Lane
For over 70 years, winners of the Indianapolis 500 have celebrated in Victory Lane (now Victory Circle) with a hearty swig from an ice-cold bottle of milk – a ceremony recognized around the world as unique to the Indy 500.
In an interview shortly before his death in 1995, Meyer recalled that his favorite beverage during his driving years was buttermilk and that’s what he asked for following the second of his three wins. Three years later, on the occasion of his third 500-Mile victory, he was photographed drinking milk in Victory Lane. Several years after that, the Bottle of Milk became a permanent part of the post-race celebration when Anton “Tony” Hulman decided that milk was a wholesome and appropriate beverage for Victory Lane festivities. For those who may be wondering what the winning driver drinks, it’s no longer buttermilk. Today, it’s delicious, nutrient rich, ice-cold milk served in a glass quart bottle.
The American Dairy Association of Indiana and its Indiana dairy farm families are responsible for ensuring that the Victory Circle tradition endures and prospers. In fact, Sports Illustrated magazine has recognized the bottle of milk given annually to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 as No. 1 among the "sports world's coolest prizes."