FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – If you thought this year’s Indianapolis 500 was exciting to watch, you can imagine what it was like for one Fort Wayne man who was trackside not only for the race, but for the celebration in Victory Circle.
Andrew Kuehnert was the official “milkman” for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on Sunday.
Kuehnert presented a bottle of whole milk to winning driver Simon Pagenaud in the moments following the conclusion of the 103rd running. The winner chooses from a variety of milk options.
“Being in Victory Circle, having him come there and just knowing the anticipation in having him get there and handing the milk to him was just amazing,” Kuehnert — now back home — told Fort Wayne’s NBC on Monday. “I got chills thinking about it, and I get to go down in history as the 103rd Indy 500 milkman. It’s absolutely amazing.”
The Kuehnert Dairy Farm in Allen County is a sixth-generation family business known locally for its annual fall festival as well as the milk it produces.
The American Dairy Association tapped Kuehnert as last year’s “rookie milkman” and this year’s primary dairy deliverer. The rookie presents the milk to the winning team, while the second-year milkman offers the drink to the driver.
The tradition dates back more than 80 years. Back in the 1930s, driver Louis Meyer took a swig of buttermilk in Victory Lane to celebrate his win.
Milk became a permanent part of the post-race celebration in 1956.