500 facts: cold milk — and other eats and drinks 

The drivers have milk. Beer for you?

click to enlarge 500facts_webheaders19.jpg

442. Louis Meyer started the milk tradition in 1936.

Upon winning his third 500, Meyer requested a thirst-quenching glass of — wait for it — buttermilk.

443. Today, several varieties of milk are standing by on race day.

A dairy farmer (and an Indy 500 "apprentice") bring a cooler full of milk bottles to Victory Lane. They have a list of driver preferences, so the cooler may include whole, one or two percent and skim milk.

444. Jim Hurtubise put a qualifier in line in 1972 that was actually a cooler full of beer.

Hurtubise, who seemed to have a part-time job pissing off USAC officials, lined up a second car (he'd already qualified one) just before time expired on Bump Day. When the gun went off, Jim pulled off the engine cover off his second ride, which held a cooler full of ice and cases of his sponsor's product: Miller High Life, baby.

click to enlarge Jim Hurtubise, seven years after the beer engine stunt. - COURTESY THE FASIG FAMILY
  • Jim Hurtubise, seven years after the beer engine stunt.
  • Courtesy the Fasig family

445. Enjoy a giant swimming pool of beer on race day.

More than 13,000 gallons of suds are sold at the track on race day — not including what's hauled in by fans, that would fill a 24-foot swimming pool.

446. And two tanker trucks full of soda.

That's 20,000 gallons-plus of Coke products (the brands sold by IMS).

447. Over a train engine full of rocks.

The ice used on race day is equal to the weight of a freight locomotive engine: 120 tons.

448. The track dogs would loop the oval twice.

If you laid all the hot dogs sold on race day end-to-end, you'd have more than a footlong — you'd have over five miles of tube steak. When it comes to the length of German sausage, brats = bikes. Laid end-to-end, all the bratwurst sold on race day would circuit the length of the infield motorcycle track — and then some.

click to enlarge T.J. FOREMAN
  • T.J. Foreman

449. Or how about five cars worth of burgers?

The more than 7,000 pounds of Brickyard Burgers grilled up during the 500 would equal the weight of five Indy Cars.

450. How 'bout an elephant full of fries with that?

Simple math here: the ten tons of Track Fries sold at the race equals one male African elephant. We all really need to work out, amirite?

451. Dip those fries in a bathtub.

11, in fact — that's equal to the 475 gallons of ketchup used at Indy.

452. Or do you want your 18 Borg-Warners with BBQ sauce?

The 2000 pounds of chicken tenders that fans order match the weight of the Borg Warner trophy — times 18.

453. And a side of pork fritters, perhaps — like 8,000 pounds worth.

That'd be equivalent to 72 Borg-Warners.


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Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck

Ed Wenck has been writing for NUVO (as well as several other Indiana publications) for nearly 20 years while moonlighting as a radio host. He became Managing Editor of NUVO in 2013. He's authored four books and also reports for WISH-TV's Boomer TV program.
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