McCORDSVILLE – With all colors of the rainbow and box cars of all shapes and sizes, kindergarteners from McCordsville Elementary raced their way to the finish line, competing in the Kindy 500. They earned medals and trophies, and the grand champion earned a sweet sip of milk to celebrate the tradition.

To introduce and announce the event of the hour was Paul Page, along with Indy 500 princesses handing out medals and trophies as students finished their races.

As a surprise, Page had Johnny Rutherford, a three-time winner in the Indianapolis 500, wish the students good luck in their races before they began.

“Have a good time and stand on the gas,” said Rutherford right before the first race took off.

Each kindergarten class had about four to five heat races, where the winners would compete for the class’s winner. After determining the final finishers from each class, those students competed for the grand championship.

As Page announced “Go” and the flags waved for the final race, the students took off. Levi Swim crossed the chalk-drawn finish line first, receiving his trophy and a plastic carton of milk to celebrate his title of grand champion of the Kindy 500.

Courtney Treon, kindergarten teacher at McCordsville Elementary, said the Kindy 500 is a way to get the community and families involved in activities and allow the students to decorate their own car while also learning about the Indianapolis 500 and its history.

“All their cars are different, and they get to choose what they want to do. I mean, we do a lot in kindergarten where it has a rule and it has a set thing that they have to do,” Treon said. “This is just something that they can do, and it can look like whatever they want it to look like, so it just shows their personalities.”

Asher Braun, who ran in the final race, showed off the medal and trophy that he received. He chose Mario Kart as the theme for his car, saying that he liked running fast and running with his friends.

“Don’t give up when you try to… earn something that you really want,” Braun said.

As the last race ended, students said goodbye to their families ,who crowded the bleachers before heading back inside for the rest of the school day, which included an outdoor picnic lunch to celebrate a race well ran.