Today is the day of the Indianapolis 500. The event is typically held on Memorial Day Weekend. It is so named because it is run on 200 laps of a 2.5 mile track, totaling to 500 miles. Cars can reach a top speed of 234 mph. The race is, along with Monaco and LeMans, considered one of the Triple Crown of Racing.
There are many traditions associated with the race. Such as the traditional “kissing of the bricks”, where the winner and his crew gets down on their hands and knees and kiss the one yard line of bricks that represent the track’s original pavement. The tradition is a recent development. It was started in 1996 by NASCAR champ Dale Jarrett at the now defunct Brickyard 400.
There is the traditional drinking of the milk, which was started in 1936 when Louis Meyer drank some buttermilk because his mom said it would refresh him on a hot day. The American Dairy Association Indiana saw this as a great marketing opportunity and has provided milk to the winners, who guzzle it down like beer. Or pour it on their head. Who am I to judge. Drivers are given the option of drinking whole, 2%, or buttermilk. As of this writing, there are no plant-based options for winners.
The race’s winner gets their face depicted in bas relief on the massive Borg-Warner Trophy. The winner gets a miniature replica dubbed the “Baby Borg”. The real trophy, which is 5 foot 4 inches and weighs 110 lbs, is permanently housed in the International Motor Speedway Museum. The winner of this race is aiming to be the 109th face added to the trophy.
This trophy does not look creepy at all.
And also a bunch of drivers race cars. Among the ranks are a former NASCAR driver (Jimmie Johnson), former Formula 1 drivers (Takuma Sato, Romain Grosjean), a former NASCAR and Formula 1 driver (Juan Pablo Montoya), a four-time winner trying to break the record of most Indy wins (Hello Castroneves), a bunch of young drivers trying to make names for themselves, and a guy with the absolutely incredible name of Will Power.