If not for the vision of Paul Dana that ethanol could fuel Indy Racing cars, Ignite Racing Fuel might never have existed.
The Indiana company this week received the 2011 Paul Dana Excellence in Bioenergy Leadership Award from the state department of agriculture. The award was established to honor the memory of Indy Racing League driver Paul Dana who was killed in a racing accident in 2006 after seeing the fulfillment of his dream that the IRL adopt ethanol as a racing fuel.
Indiana Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay (pictured far right), presented the award to Jay Berry and Reggie Henderson of Ignite Racing Fuel during a ceremony on Monday at the governor’s residence. In an interview with Brownfield Network’s Meghan Grebner, Berry said the award provides another way to help spread the word about how ethanol performs on the track. “A few years ago we went into several racing conventions and no one would talk to us – ethanol was kind of the red-headed step child for fuels.” But, Berry says they’ve been able to get ethanol in enough people’s hands that they can see its performance. For that, he says they are thankful.
Paul Dana’s brother Greg, pictured here with Berry, was also on hand for the award presentation. He says the award means a great deal to the Dana family. “We’re honored that folks remember Paul and remember the work that he did, both on the race trace and off,” said Dana. “What Ignite has done is bring to fruition what Paul was working on 6-7 years ago to bring ethanol to all the grassroots racing in the country.”
Dana says increased use of ethanol is very important for not only the industry, but for farmers, the state of Indiana and the entire country.
Thanks to Brownfield Network for the photos and interviews. To listen to all of Meghan’s interviews with Greg Dana and Jay Berry, here is the link to the Brownfield Network story.