He’s the ABC announcer in Victory Circle at the end of the Indy 500 who tries to dodge the milk being tossed around as he gets in position to interview the winning driver. And for 15 years he has emceed the Fastest Rookie celebration with Indiana dairy farmers at the track. Indiana-born Vince Welch gets a very close look each May at how much the milk means to Indy winners.
“And it really is I think the symbolism for winning the Indianapolis 500,” he told HAT. “Having your name on the Borg Warner trophy is great for years to come but the immediacy of winning and celebrating comes with that drink of milk in Victory Circle and the American Dairy Association farmers and all of the people who help make that tradition possible, I just think it’s a great way to celebrate them and at the same time celebrate the drivers who hope to be in the position of drinking the milk.”
At the rookie lunch on Tuesday before race day it was stated that the drivers and dairymen and women had a common bond, passion and excellence in their field. Welch agreed with the assessment.
“Whether you’re a farmer or a race car driver or an announcer or an accountant or a doctor or a teacher, the cream so to speak rises to the top and it’s great to see so many of those in the agricultural field who are as passionate about what they do as the race car drivers are about what they do. I think their level of success and expertise is very similar.”
Hanging out with the farmers isn’t unusual for Welch.
“My father in law has a farm up in northern Indiana just south of Fort Wayne in Ossian, and we enjoy being up at the farm. It’s a nice getaway for us and obviously know how important it has been to his family and my wife’s family throughout the years. So I’ve got a great respect for farmers.”
Learn more about Welch and the ABC broadcast of the 500:Vince Welch
Tony Kanaan finally broke through Sunday for his first Indy 500 win.