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Veteran, rookie ‘milk people’ gear up for Indy 500 tradition

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – Winners drink milk as the beloved Indianapolis 500 staple returns to the track this year, in full force.

News 8 told you about the drivers preferred milk choices, now we are hearing from the race day “milk people.”

The American Dairy Association said both the veteran and rookie milk people will partake in the 2021 race. 

Photo of Tim Haynes. (Provided Photo)

The veteran milk person and rookie milk person are responsible for getting the trophy of perfectly chilled milk to the winner, owner and crew chief.

Due to the pandemic, only the veteran milk person was allowed at the race in 2020, not the rookie.

For the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, the same veteran from the 2020 race, Jill Houin of Homestead Dairy in Plymouth, is doing the job for the second year in a row. She will finally able to train the rookie, Tim Haynes of Superior Dairy in Garrett, and both said the wait will be worth it.

“I am so excited to do it again. The reason is I got to celebrate and be super excited with the winner last year and then to show Tim the excitement level and to celebrate with that winner again – I just am so humbled I am excited,” said Houin.

“I am probably more excited because last year it didn’t work out for me to be involved. Like I said, I celebrated from home when they drank the milk. But this year, Jill is showing me what I need to know and I am looking forward to next year having the opportunity to pass the drink to the winning driver,” said Haynes. 

The Indy 500 milk tradition started in 1936 when IMS said legendary Indy 500 winner, Louis Meyer, drank buttermilk in the victory lane after the race. For the most part, it has been an Indy 500 staple ever since.