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1956 Indy 500: Milk tradition re-emerges

1956 Indy 500: Milk tradition re-emerges
1956 Indy 500: Milk tradition re-emerges
Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 18:38:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis basketball team made high school history for the second time in 1956 - Crispus Attucks won their second state championship in a row, and was the first boy's championship team to go undefeated throughout the season.

Also a first for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1956: The speedway's business and ticket offices were finally located on track grounds at 16th and Georgetown - an office that still stands today. The building also contained the track's first museum - A pet project of track owner Tony Hulman.

Also a first for the track: It was paved with asphalt, leaving only about 600 yards of the mainstretch still remaining brick.

In the Indy 500 that year - Pat Flaherty was a hopeful to gain his place in racing history, starting from the pole.

Flaherty quickly lost the lead to Jim Rathmann, but he drove hard to regain the top position, at times driving so fast, his car went up on three wheels in the turns.

As the competition heated up on the track, it got hot in the press box, too when a fire broke out at the race's halfway point there. Fortunately, it was nothing serious.

Flaherty eventually did regain the lead and never looked back, leading 127 of 200 laps and winning the 500 by 21 seconds with an average speed of 128.490 miles per hour.

He was greeted in Victory Lane by his pit crew and a cold bottle of milk - the resurgence of a tradition that would re-emerge for good after a 9-year absence.

 

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