INDIANAPOLIS – Every driver in the 2018 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will want to
make the acquaintance of two Hoosier dairy farmers on Sunday afternoon, May 27.
And they’ll know exactly where to find them. Kim Minich and Andrew Kuehnert will be standing, customized cooler in hand, on some of Central Indiana’s most valuable real estate – Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Minich, who works the family farm in LaPorte, Indiana, and Kuehnert, a sixth-generation dairy farmer from Fort Wayne, are assuming responsibility for continuing one of Indianapolis’ most treasured traditions. The “Milk People” will deliver the fabled Bottle of Milk to the winner of the 102nd 500-Mile Race, courtesy of American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI).
“We are honored to continue the tradition that means so much to those of us involved in the dairy industry here in Indiana as well as throughout the US,” Minich said. “We appreciate the support of this tradition by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and recognize the important place it holds in the hearts of everyone who loves the 500.
“Nearly everyone, wherever in the world they are, thinks of the 500-Mile Race when they hear ‘Indianapolis,’” she added, “and most are aware of how every winner toasts victory at this track. Andrew and I take the responsibility of representing this tradition very seriously, and look forward to the great opportunity of carrying it forward on May 27.”
The legendary Louis Meyer, Indy’s first three-time winner (1928, ’33, ’36) is acknowledged as the driver who launched the Bottle of Milk Tradition when he asked for a glass of his favorite beverage – buttermilk – to quench his thirst after a grueling 500 miles in 1933. Three years later, Meyer was photographed in Victory Lane drinking milk.
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” Hulman.