Racing through corn fields; Iowa race shines spotlight on ethanol


NASCAR drove ethanol into the spotlight again last weekend at the Iowa Speedway as Nationwide series drivers raced to victory powered by Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol blend, during the U.S. Cellular 250 in Newton, Iowa, presented by Enlist Weed Control. American Ethanol and Iowa Corn took the spotlight during these festivities as Kenny Wallace’s No. 09 car featured unique artwork promoting the organizations.

“Kenny is passionate about racing and also about telling the American family farmer story,” said Dick Gallagher a farmer from Washington and chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “Our sponsorship of American Ethanol and Kenny Wallace are key to showcasing the power and performance of ethanol to consumers.”

This was the second time this year that the Wallace car featured an ethanol-centric paint out.

Attendees enjoyed a broader array of ethanol-related activities on the midway including interactive exhibits explaining the science behind this renewable, affordable alternative fuel. Similar exhibits greeted fans in races in Kansas, Illinois and Indiana earlier in the season.

This year, all cars in the NASCAR series, which includes the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, are running on E15 fuel. Nationally, more than 95 percent of all fuel is blended with 10 percent ethanol, and the next step is E15, which was approved for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer earlier this year by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Through the NASCAR American Ethanol initiative, more than $8 million worth of positive messages about ethanol and farmers have reached the sports fan base of more than 80 million to date. Additionally, ethanol has received more than three million dollars worth of broadcast exposure through in-car cameras during races, onscreen messaging at tracks, and special segments discussing the debut of E15 as NASCAR’s sole fuel. With American Ethanol art placed around the fuel port of every race car, viewers consistently receive a visual reminder of the important role ethanol plays in the sport.

Notably, ethanol is fueling livestock production in addition to NASCAR. For every bushel of corn that is used to produce ethanol, one third of that bushel comes back as distillers grains, a valuable and high protein livestock feed.

Source: NCGA