What milk, Danica Patrick and fighter jets have to do with the Indy 500.
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1. The iconic Indianapolis 500 is always a big celebrity draw. For the third time in her career, Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem and Christian Bale and Matt Damon will wave the green start flag. The two actors are using this huge honor to promote their upcoming film based on the 1966 24-hour Le Mans endurance race. (Different kind of car racing, but it’s still racing). DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES
2. Because life’s too short to have a boring race car. The car for Indiana native Conor Daly, who you might recognize from “Amazing Race,” will be painted to look like an Air Force fighter jet. COPS CAN’T CATCH HIM
3. He starts your mornings off right, so he seemed the logical choice to start the race. Al Roker from “The Today Show” had been pegged to drive the pace car but a last-minute conflict changed his plans. Stepping in is a guy who knows a little about racing, retired NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt will take a break from his broadcasting gig to spin around the track. (NASCAR is different than IndyCar. For more, click here). HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS
4. Joining Earnhardt in the broadcast booth is the first woman to ever lead a lap at the Indy 500, Danica Patrick. Patrick retired from her career in racing last year and has driven both in IndyCar and NASCAR. Another gal to keep an eye on is Pippa Mann, the only female driver in the race. ON THE FAST TRACK
5. Move over Gatorade, milk is the drink of the winners at International Motor Speedway. The tradition that involves the winner swigging milk began in 1936 with Louis Meyer, whose go to drink after a win was a refreshing glass of milk. The act was spotted by an overjoyed milk executive and the rest is history. MILK…IT QUENCHES YOUR THIRST, SAID NO ONE EVER