NASCAR thinks green with the use of ethanol fuels

On Sunday February 26, more than 40 of the top NASCAR drivers will square off in the season-opening showdown at the Daytona 500. And while many experts are busy debating the front-runner status of Dale Earnhardt Jr. or offering their comments on the media spectacle that is Danica Patrick, one aspect of the race that isn’t getting much attention is the fuel used by drivers.


For the second year in a row, sources say that Sunoco Green E15 racing fuel, which is blended with 15 percent ethanol from American-grown corn, will be used in the gas tanks of drivers. The switch, which was made at the start of last season, saved NASCAR an estimated 300,000 gallons of gas last year and helped racers emit 20 percent fewer greenhouse gasses during competitions.

“In late 2008, we were pretty representative of what was going on out there,” Mike Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of green innovation, told Business News Daily. “By and large our sponsor base was not very green-focused at all, but we had an insight that this was the way the country was headed. Things that are good for the environment have become a competitive edge. We are glad we launched it when we did.”

NASCAR isn’t the only major sporting event touting its green changes. Earlier this month, the NFL was able to bring a number of green initiatives to the Super Bowl, which resulted in what some experts called “the greenest Super Bowl ever.”

In total, 90 percent of gasoline being sold in the United States already contains at least 10 percent Ethanol (E10), according to the Renewable Fuel Association. Although the fuel has environmental benefits, it’s still recommended to use a fuel additive such as STA-BIL Ethanol Treatment to protect against moisture, corrosion and to keep your fuel system clean to maximize performance.