It’s Memorial weekend, which means it’s the 101st running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing“. The race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. Has been on my bucket list for a while now. Hopefully I’ll do it soon. Who will get to kiss the bricks this year? Who will get to drink the milk? There’s so many traditions on this track. I’ll talk about two of them. The tradition of “kissing the bricks” was started by NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett. After his Brickyard 400 victory in 1996, Jarrett and crew chief Todd Parrott decided to walk out to the start-finish line, kneel and kiss the Yard of Bricks to pay tribute to the fabled history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team joined them for a group kiss on the bricks, and an Indianapolis tradition was born that Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 winners have followed since. Louis Meyer started the tradition of drinking the milk back in 1936 when he won the race and drank buttermilk in Victory lane. When executive from the Milk foundation saw it in a photo in the sports page in the newspaper he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in the years to come. There was a period between 1947-1955 when milk was no longer offered but the tradition returned in 1956 and it’s still done to this day.
Photo courtesy of IMS