Ethanol fuel has driven success on the NASCAR racetrack for 3 years
With the NASCAR racing season well underway, Kansas corn farmers are entering their third year as a sponsor of the American Ethanol partnership with NASCAR. E15, a 15 percent ethanol fuel, has been used in all NASCAR racing vehicles since 2011. When NASCAR switched to ethanol-infused fuel for its race cars, it proved to be an environmentally beneficial decision and also boosted performance by lowering emissions and increasing horsepower of race cars in all three of the sport’s marquee series.
American Ethanol recently announced its plans to enhance its partnership with Richard Childress Racing and driver Austin Dillon for the 2013 NASCAR season. Dillon will race the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway on June 16. He will also drive a RCR-fielded entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Eldora Speedway on July 24 with an American Ethanol paint scheme. Dillon was NASCAR’s 2012 Rookie of the Year.
“It feels good to help spread the news about American Ethanol and encourage every American to run the fuel of the future in their personal vehicles,” Dillon said. “If American Ethanol can withstand the rigors of NASCAR, it can withstand everyday driving. Homegrown biofuels like American Ethanol have stepped up to help our nation’s economy and are proving to be a better fuel.”
Veteran fan favorite Kenny Wallace is also returning as a spokesman for American Ethanol. This season, Wallace is aiming for his 900th NASCAR start.
Survey results show that American Ethanol is making a positive impression on racing fans. NASCAR commissioned an online panel of more than 2,000 adults to assess the attitude of avid, casual and non-fans related to the environment. The survey showed that 78-percent of avid fans support the American Ethanol partnership and use ethanol in their own cars. This number has grown from the low 50-percentile for the program’s target audience and is compared to today’s numbers of 40 percent for non-fans and 53 percent for casual fans.
When the program started in late 2010 only 57 percent of the avid NASCAR fans supported the idea of using ethanol in NASCAR races. After two years of exposure and education that number is now 78 percent.
Since the beginning, the Kansas Corn Commission has been a strong supporter and partner in American Ethanol, along with the National Corn Growers Association and several state corn associations.
In Kansas, ethanol is making a big splash at the Kansas Speedway, which will again host two NASCAR weekends in April and October this year. Last fall the Kansas Corn Commission and Nebraska Corn Board helped to sponsor the American Ethanol display, featuring an Austin Dillon #3 American Ethanol showcar, a New Holland combine and an ethanol blender pump. The effort reached thousands who came to the midway area to see driver appearances and get information from the exhibitors.
“We reached thousands of race fans with a positive ethanol message when we were operating the American Ethanol display at the Kansas Speedway at the track last fall,” Kansas Corn Commission Communications Director Sue Schulte said. “Then when you look at the millions who watch NASCAR on TV you realize how powerful the American Ethanol effort is.”