INDIANAPOLIS – One of the most popular and recognized traditions at the
Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is showcased annually through presentation of the Winners
Drink Milk Award by American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI).
During Saturday morning’s Public Drivers’ Meeting at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,
ADAI general manager Deb Osza will present the coveted award to reigning 500
champion Juan Pablo Montoya. The trophy prominently features the likeness of the
legendary Louis Meyer, the first three-time winner of the 500-Mile Race (1928, ’33, ’36),
and also pays tribute to the Speedway’s famous Victory Circle by incorporating familiar
elements from that iconic platform.
Meyer is credited with launching the beloved Victory Circle Bottle of Milk Tradition
when he asked for a glass of buttermilk after his 1933 win. Three years later, he was
photographed drinking the buttermilk in Victory Lane. Milk was presented off and on
during the next several years until, in 1956, the Bottle of Milk was made a permanent part
of the post-race celebration by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Anton “Tony”
2016 marks the 61st consecutive year for the Bottle of Milk Tradition, and 80 years since
that photo of Meyer and his beloved buttermilk was snapped in Victory Lane.
“We want people always to remember the significant role Louis Meyer played in
establishing one of the most beloved traditions at Indianapolis,” Osza said. “The Winners
Drink Milk trophy, we believe, is a fantastic tribute to Louie’s legacy.”
The award was reconfigured in 2014 from a plaque into an elegant trophy. A replica of
the trophy was presented by ADAI to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum for
Last year, in competition among entries from around the world at the International
Awards Market in Las Vegas, the trophy captured first place in the “Most Creative”
category. The annual Market is sponsored by the Awards & Recognition Association, a
worldwide trade group for award manufacturers.
“We knew we had a unique new design, something that would be completely different
from anything a driver might have in his or her trophy case,” ADAI general manager Deb
Osza said. “But winning top honors in Las Vegas really underscored that we had hit upon
a very cool design, something that Indiana’s dairy farmers are proud to present to the
‘500’ winner, and that the drivers are proud to accept and display.”