Milk always wins at Indy500
100th running is one for the books
Story and photos by Sherry Bunting - reprinted from Farmshine
After 500 miles, 200 laps, 54 lead changes and 13 different leaders, the winning of the 100th Indy500 came down to a fuel strategy that put Alexander Rossi -- the 9th rookie ever, and the first since 2001 -- into Victory Lane on Sunday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sweet taste of victory in the form of the 80th traditional ice cold drink of milk, delivered this year by milkwoman Janet Dague of Kewana and rookie ‘milkman’ Joe Kelsay of Whiteland.
Nearly a half million people turned out for the 100th running of the Indy500 on Sunday. To put it in perspective, the largest-ever attendance of the NFL Superbowl was just over 100,000 people. The 100th running of the Indy500 on Sunday clocked in at 350,000 in the gates and another estimated 100,000 outside the gates just wanting to “be there.”
This year’s customary #winnersdrinkmilk moment was accompanied by the distribution of commemorative bottles of milk in special packaging made available by Prairie Farms, the American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
Distributing 100,000 bottles of milk to fans on a jam-packed race day was a challenge. Prairie Farms staff manned the trucks keeping all of those 16 oz. bottles of specially-labeled 100th Indy500 milk cold, And ADAI brought in Rossville FFA to provide the 80 volunteers to distribute milk all day with an ADAI lead person at each truck to assist.
Dague, the Indiana dairy producer with the honor of presenting this year’s milk to the winner has been a longtime avid fan of the race, and she had been hoping the winner would be a rookie, or someone who never won before.