It is not every day that a short track race car driver has the opportunity to kiss a cow, nor is it every day that a short track race car driver has the desire to kiss a cow. But on Sunday, October 4 at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont “kissing the cow” will be the only goal for the many American-Canadian Tour Late Model drivers expected to enter the 52nd Annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl.
When the checkered flag waves on Sunday afternoon, the winning driver will be greeted in victory lane by a Vermont dairy cow better known as the bovine beauty queen. Like it or not, they will have to carry on the tradition, pucker up, and lay a smooch on “Miss Daisy Dalton.”
So what goes into kissing the cow? Is it enjoyable? Is it slimy? What exactly goes through a drivers mind as they pucker up for the kiss?
We at Speed51.com reached out to a few of the drivers who have won the Milk Bowl in an attempt to find out the art of kissing the cow.
Hometown favorite Nick Sweet had his first encounter with “Miss Daisy Dalton” last season and is hoping an encounter with her again this year will end up cleaner than last year’s encounter.
“Last year they pulled the cow out of the trailer and the first thing it did was take a s–t right on the frontstretch when it looked at me,” said Sweet. “I don’t know if it liked me or not but when I kissed it, the cow backed up and it made for a pretty good show. (Ken) Squier said I must not have done it right and I told him that I have that effect on women.”
Sweet believed the kiss to be a bit on the slimy side, but was able to get past that with emotions being so high from winning the biggest race of the year at his home track. If given the opportunity, he said he’d love to experience another slimy kiss this year.
“That’s one of the very few days in your life that you’ll want to kiss a cow,” said the Barre, Vermont native. “It’s definitely a little on the slimy side, but you can get past that. The worst thing is drinking that bowl of milk because it usually pours down the front of you and gets in your race suit for the rest of the day. It’s all good at the end of the day because if you’ve won the Milk Bowl you’ve done something.”
Another driver with experience kissing the cow is 2014 American-Canadian Tour champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. At the young age of 21 years old, “Joey Pole” had his first and only encounter with the bovine beauty queen. He admits to being a little bit nervous in his first encounter with Miss Daisy Dalton and hopes that he’ll have another shot to win her over this weekend.
“They brought the cow out and I kind of tried to cover up my face,” Polewarczyk told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I wasn’t like Patrick (Laperle) and the other kiss you see with Dwayne Lanphear, who pretty much open-mouth kissed it. I was kind of more cautious with it. I was just trying it out to make sure she liked it. Maybe this year she’ll remember me and we can get a little bit better.”
Polewarczyk, who has since added an Oxford 250 win, ACT International win, and ACT championship to his resume, still considers his 2010 Milk Bowl win to be one of the biggest of his career.
“It was huge and at that time that was probably, and it still probably is, one of the biggest wins of my career. There was so much excitement and everything.”
The most famous kiss of them all came back in 2001 when local dairy farmer Dwayne Lanphear won the Milk Bowl. A picture of his kiss in victory lane made headlines as far away as Los Angeles, Toronto, and Florida.
How did he do it?
“I don’t think anybody has kissed it like I did,” Lanphear said in a phone interview with Speed51.com. “I pretty much had her mouth opened and laid right into it. S–t, I had just won the Milk Bowl. I had the drool running right down my face trying to wipe it off.”
Many of the drivers we talked, including Nick Sweet, believed that being a dairy farmer gave Lanphear time to practice the kiss.
“I think he kisses his cows every day or something,” said Sweet. “He was a natural at it. I think he like French kissed the cow. He lip-locked that thing.”
Lanphear denied that there was any practice involved and attributed his one-of-a-kind kiss to the excitement he had after winning the biggest race of his life.
“No practice,” said Lanphear. “I was just excited. Somebody asked me why I kissed her like that and I said, ‘does your dog kiss you?’ They said yeah so I said, ‘have you ever seen a cow kiss its own ass?’”
If ever given the opportunity to kiss the cow again, Lanphear said he’d do the same exact thing and encourages this year’s winner of the Milk Bowl to make it worth it as well.
“I’d kiss it the same way,” said Lanphear. “One big wet kiss isn’t going to hurt you. A lot of these guys get out and just give a little kiss on the top of the nose. You just won the biggest race of the year, kiss the damn thing.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Feature Photo Credit: Speed51.com.