The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is partnering with Growth Energy to promote awareness of American Ethanol at the newly announced American Ethanol 225, a race held at the Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 21. The race is part of the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and represents the return of summer night racing to the track.
“NASCAR has become an important way in which our state and national corn organizations reach out to consumers with tangible proof of ethanol’s performance and viability,” said NCGA NASCAR Advisory Council Chair Martin Barbre, an Illinois corn grower. “It is exciting to see Illinois, and many other states, working to reinforce the message that the best drivers using the best machinery in some of the most competitive races in the world trust their engines, and in a way their safety, to E15. I know, personally, that if it works in a NASCAR, it can work for my car too.”
The race, which will highlight the American Ethanol partnership, builds upon efforts launched last season to promote ethanol through NASCAR. Representing a wide array of ethanol supporters, from farmers to bio-engineering firms, American Ethanol was established by NCGA, in partnership with GE and others.
Illinois Corn farmers and American Ethanol will also join forces in sponsoring driver and fan favorite Kenny Wallace in the No. 99 Family Farmer car that races in the July 22 Nationwide Series race, which also will feature a large exhibit area for fans.
In 2011, the Daytona 500 race brought a major change for NASCAR who, through the NASCAR Green initiative, switched to fueling every car or truck in every race with Sunoco Green E15, which includes 15 percent ethanol.
With more than two million miles already run on NASCAR tracks around the country using E15, the performance of ethanol has raced into the spotlight while American Ethanol and NASCAR have worked together to also highlight the environmental benefits of ethanol. The groups understand this is important as ethanol represents the most commercially-viable alternative to 100 percent petroleum-based fuel that America currently holds, and corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent.
“As we kick off our 2012 race season this July we are thrilled to welcome an entitlement partner as involved in the sport as American Ethanol,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway. “Their proactive commitment to reducing emissions has been a vital aspect of NASCAR’s Green Clean Air initiative, and American Ethanol has proven to be a tremendous partner not only for Chicagoland Speedway, but for NASCAR’s teams, fans and the industry as a whole.”