The day an Indy 500 tradition was acted out in Kerry

The day an Indy 500 tradition was acted out on Kerry

Today is one of the biggest days in world motorsport – the last Sunday in May is the traditional date for the Indy 500.

The top three qualifiers for today’s race are 1.Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda); 2 Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, Honda) and 3  Rinus VeeKay, (Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet) and, more than likely, one of these drivers will maintain a long-standing tradition.

Drinking milk has long been part of the finish celebrations at the world-famous race and this inspired the Tralee-based Kerry Motor Club to bring the tradition to Ireland for the first time.

The tradition started when three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Louis Meyer regularly drank buttermilk to refresh himself on a hot day and happened to drink some in Victory Lane as a matter of habit after winning the 1936 race.

An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation in America was so elated when he saw the moment captured in a photograph in the sports section of a newspaper the following morning that he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in coming years. There was a period between 1947-55 when milk was apparently no longer offered, but the practice was revived in 1956 and has been a tradition ever since.

Back in 2019 Kerry Motor Club and its new event partner Ballymac Dairy brought this tradition to Tralee for this first time and the Circuit of Kerry will become first the rally in Ireland to do this. Chris Maloney, owner of the Ballymac Dairy in Kerry, delivers his pasteurised, non-homogenised milk to 180 doorsteps in Tralee and to many local shops in Kerry every day.9

“As a native New Yorker, I am well aware of the Indy 500 tradition,” he said. “I am delighted play my part in bringing this tradition to a local rally. The Indy 500 winner gets a glass bottle of milk as part of the celebration and Ballymac Dairy is the only local dairy to supply glass bottled milk, another plus point as consumers move away from single use packaging.”

The 2019 Circuit of Kerry was the last edition of this local rally to run before pandemic restrictions set in.  The winners were Daragh O’Riordan and Mikey Walsh in a Ford Fiesta WRC.

The race is 500 miles over 200 laps. Depending on the number of yellow flags, the Indy 500 typically takes about 3 hours to complete (give or take 30 minutes) and it gets underway at 17:45 Irish time.

The full grid for today’s race

1. (9) Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 231.695

2. (26) Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, Honda, 231.655 mph

3. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 231.511 mph

4. (20) Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 231.504 mph

5. (48) Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 231.032 mph

6. (10) Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 230.616 mph

7. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 230.499 mph

8. (06) Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda, 230.355 mph

9. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda, 230.318 mph

10. (27) Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 231.046 mph

11. (18) Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan, Honda, 231.044 mph

12. (5) Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 230.864 mph

13. (51) Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coye Racing with Rick Ware Racing, Honda, 230.846 mph

14. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 230.744 mph

15. (30) Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, 230.708 mph

16. (29) James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport, Honda, 230.563 mph

17. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 230.557 mph

18. (15) Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda, 230.521 mph

19. (47) Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet, 230.427 mph

20. (60) Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda, 230.191 mph

21. (2) Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 230.071 mph

22. (1) J.R. Hildebrand, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 229.980 mph

23. (45) Santino Ferrucci, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda 229.949 mph

24. (86) Juan Pablo Montoya, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet, 228.891 mph

25. (98) Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta-Haupert with Marco and Curb-Agajanian, 229.872 mph

26. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 229.778 mph

27. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 229.744 mph

28. (25) Stefan Wilson, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, Honda, 229.714 mph

29. (59) Max Chilton, Carlin, Chevrolet, 229.417 mph

30. (4) Dalton Kellett, A.J. Foyt Racing, Chevrolet, 228.323 mph

31. (24) Sage Karam, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Chevrolet, 229.156 mph

32. (12) Will Power, Team Penske, Chevrolet, 228.876 mph

33. (16) Simona de Silvestro, Peretta Autosport, Chevrolet, 228.353 mph

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