The athlete, Louis Meyer, made this tradition popular. He asked for a glass of buttermilk after winning the Indy 500 race in 1933. He repeated this gesture on his third win in 1936. But, this time, he received a bottle instead of a glass of milk. His actions caught the attention of a local dairy company. Its executive found a marketing opportunity in the idea that speed racers drink milk after winning a game.
Milk became a popular icon for the Indy 500 race since then. The people even mocked Emerson Fittipaldi for not keeping up with the tradition. In the 1993 Indianapolis 500 race, media caught him drinking orange juice in an interview. They people wooed him. Speed racers should drink milk after winning a game. He relented.
It was an embarrassing plight for the orange grove operator. The people did not forget his misdeed. They decried him on his next race in the 2008 Indianapolis 500 at the Milwaukee Mile.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway held the largest milk toast for the 100th winner of the Indy 500 race in 2016. Teaming up with the American Diary Association and Prairie Farms, they gave out bottles of milk to the roughly 100,000 spectators of the race. They continue to promote the idea that speed racers drink the milk to victory.