This is Duane Hill’s second year to be a milkman at the Indianapolis 500—but this year, as the seasoned veteran, he will be the Indiana dairy farmer who actually hands the milk to the winning driver in Victory Circle.
Duane watched last year’s milkman Dave Forgey pass the “Sports World’s Coolest Prize” to winning driver Dario Franchitti, but this year it’s his turn.
Here is what Duane had to say about being the milkman:
Never in my life when I was a little boy milking cows would I have thought about the privilege of handing milk to the winning driver at the Indianapolis 500. Hard work and drive have always paid off in my life in some surprising ways.
I was blessed to be born and raised on a dairy farm with leadership from great parents. They taught me responsibility and showed me the importance of hard work and honesty. I can remember my Dad waking us early in the morning to do the milking and the chores before we went to school. If things went well, we had time to clean up before school. If not, we went to school wearing the fragrance of the barn!
Through the leadership and encouragement of my agriculture teacher, I became very involved in the dairy industry, FFA and 4-H. After graduating, I married my wife, Joyce Ann, and together we pursued our dream of being dairy farmers. From that day forward, we channeled our lives to become successful in our venture. We raised our family on this dairy farm and it has been a challenging yet pleasant experience. Growing up on a dairy farm taught our children good work ethic and responsibility.
I am looking forward to being at the track early in the morning on race day again this year to feel the atmosphere of the race track. It is going to be a pleasure to be there again with the drivers who have dedicated their lives to racing and entertaining fans around the world. I want to show the world that winners drink milk because it is so important for your health.
My rookie year was a great preparation for me to be the milkman this year. I am looking forward to presenting the milk to the winning driver of this year’s race because they have worked hard to earn that spot in Victory Circle and the milk will help them to refuel after that grueling race.