Last weekend, more than 100,000 fans, including more than 1,100 American Ethanol supporters, cheered on Clint Bowyer as he drove a special-edition version of his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, featuring an American-Ethanol paint scheme, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400. More than 500 farmers had the opportunity to get an up-close look at how the American-Ethanol NASCAR partnership provides ethanol many high-profile opportunities to educate a fan-base of more than 80 million on the benefits of ethanol.
Race attendees noticed the prominence of American Ethanol from the time they entered the midway until they departed the track. With activities ranging from autograph signings to a massive American Ethanol banner on the backstretch grass, racing fans noticed the major role ethanol plays in NASCAR at every turn.
On the midway, American Ethanol drew large crowds eager to listen to Clint Bowyer speak and get autographs from his pit crew. While at the display, American Ethanol team members seized the opportunity to educate them on the benefits of both ethanol and blender pumps. Many visitors took home reminders in the form of ethanol pocket guides and downloadable photos of themselves posed with a life-sized model of Bowyer’s special-edition car.
The farmers in attendance joined with a similar number of ethanol plant stockholders for pre-race festivities in the American Ethanol pavilion. While they enjoyed an early lunch, they also took in information on the partnership and importance of ethanol to both NASCAR and the greater Midwestern economy. Speakers, including Bowyer, RCR Racing owner Richard Childress, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott and Growth Ethanol CEO Tom Buis, presented the audience with their perspective on the educational efforts being made on the behalf of both American farmers and the ethanol industry.
Schott welcomed attendees thanking farmers, ethanol plant stakeholders and Gov. Brownback for their support. During his remarks, he highlighted the visibility that the ethanol partnership with NASCAR provides.
“The unprecedented ability to directly reach a broad, engaged audience comes at the moment we need it most,” said Schott. “The American Ethanol NASCAR partnership showcases how higher blends of ethanol can increase our energy independence improve our environment and decrease the burden that high fuel costs place upon hard-working consumers.”
Speaking out on his stance on ethanol, Governor Brownback said, “What we need now is E15 and more E85 ethanol pumps so that people can burn ethanol instead of Saudi Arabian oil. I have been around the ethanol industry for a long time and we have to keep growing the industry, educating the public and answering our critics so that we can move forward.”