Carb Day Practice Laps

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol CarIt’s Miller Lite Carb Day at the track. For an hour this morning all the cars in the race Sunday got to put in some laps.

Here’s the Ethanol Car heading out of the pits. This is a view of it from the 4th floor of the media “pagoda” building.

Ear plugs are a must because it gets loud. I think one of the biggest thrills is the sound these engines make. Just to rev you up I recorded a minute of the Carb day practice session.

You can listent to the the rpm’s here: Listen To MP3 Full Throttle On An Ethanol Blend (1 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing

Fuel Your Indy Car

Chuck Zimmerman

Fueling An Indy CarHave you ever wondered how you fill up a race car in Indianapolis? Just like you do. Well, not during the race.

These pumps are going to have to be re-done by next year since they still have methanol printed on them.

However, someone made sure a temporary sticker was applied to show that this year it’s being blended with ethanol.
Ethanol In This Pump
I believe the ethanol for the race this weekend is coming from the New Energy ethanol plant near South Bend, IN.

I spoke to the guys working at this track fueling station. They said the fuel gets blended prior to being delivered here.

EPIC, Ethanol, Facilities, Indy Racing, Racing

Jeff Simmons Remarks

Chuck Zimmerman

Jeff SimmonsThe Ethanol Car driver, Jeff Simmons, faced the press this morning early.

He also addressed the Ethanol Summit crowd yesterday and I recorded his remarks.

Jeff started out paying tribute to the work of Paul Dana and made it clear that he’s taking up the cause of promoting ethanol as well as hoping to win races for his team.

You can listent to Jeff’s remarks here: Listen To MP3 Jeff Simmons Remarks (2 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing

Bobby Rahal Interview

Chuck Zimmerman

Bobby RahalThe co-owner of Rahal-Letterman Racing is Bobby Rahal. He’s pictured here addressing yesterday’s Ethanol Summit.

After today’s press conference I got to interview him about what ethanol means to his team and the IRL.

He believes it’s a fuel that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. He says it’s a hot button issue right now.

You can listent to my interview with Bobby here: Listen To MP3 Bobby Rahal Interview (2 min MP3)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing

Rahal-Letterman Press Conf

Chuck Zimmerman

Rahal-Letterman Press ConferenceThe first press conference of the day on Friday was with Bobby Rahal (r) and his drivers, Jeff Simmons (l), Danica Patrick and Bobby Rice.

When the conference was over the drivers took off fast since they decided to let them run starting at 11am.

These folks love to drive and you can see the eagerness they have to get out there and perform.

EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing

American Ethanol Has Big Plans

Chuck Zimmerman

American EthanolWhile we’re on the subject of new ethanol facilities how about American Ethanol? According to their website they’re planning to build and build and build . . .

American Ethanol plans to develop more than two billion gallons of annual ethanol production capacity to address America’s growing renewable and high-octane fuel requirements. Ethanol reduces dependence on foreign energy sources in an environmentally responsible manner. The company plans to build fifteen ethanol plants and to invest in the expansion of a plant that is currently operating in Iowa.

This is why they say they’re investing in ethanol.

Ethanol is an octane-boosting fuel additive made from corn and other bio-sources. The demand for ethanol has soared as consumers and public policy makers recognize its positive impact on air quality, as well as its economic and national security benefits.

You can see some information about where they plan to build these plants here.

Ethanol, Facilities

E Energy Adams To Break Ground

Chuck Zimmerman

E Energy AdamsWhile all the promotion is going on here in Indianapolis there’s news to tell elsewhere. The Beatrice Daily Sun reports that there will be a groundbreaking for a new ethanol facility in Adams, Nebraska on June 2. It’s E Energy Adams. According to the story:

Jack Alderman, E Energy Adams president, said Gov. Dave Heineman and other state and local officials were expected to attend the ceremony.

“We are glad to finally be at this point,” Alderman said. “Everything is moving on schedule.”

While the groundbreaking ceremony is planned for June 2, he said actual construction would not begin until the following week. Construction is expected to take about 16 months, making projected completion in late 2007.

You can find a map to the property on the E Energy Adams website. Thanks to regular visitor Eric for the heads up!

Ethanol, Facilities

Handing Over The Keys

Chuck Zimmerman

Ed Peper & Becky SkillmanOne of the speakers at today’s Ethanol Summit was Ed Peper, General Manager of Chevrolet. He’s pictured here with Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.

I interviewed Ed about General Motors committment to alternative fuel vehicles (AFV’s) after his remarks to the Summit attendees. He made it very clear that GM is in the alternative fuels business to stay. He says they were the first manufacturer to get involved and they have the most AFV’s on the road today.

You can listent to my interview with Ed here: Listen To MP3 Ed Peper Interview (3 min MP3)

Ed Peper & Becky SkillmanDuring Ed’s presentation he highlighted GM’s continued involvement in the Indianapolis 500 as well as their commitment to Indiana and the E-85 flex fuel initiative. He also presented the keys to a new Chevrolet E-85 Tahoe to the Lt. Governor, which she will use as an educational tool to promote the use of renewable fuels.

The Tahoe also symbolizes Indiana’s committment to agriculture and the environment. This is the second year that GM has provided a vehicle to the state as part of the Governor’s ethanol coalition. General Motors is currently the largest producer of E-85 flesible fuels vehicles with nearly 2 million on the road. There are over 70,000 GM E-85 vehicles in Indiana. They have five plants in the state, over 200 GM dealers, and over 10,000 employees.

Audio, Car Makers, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Promotion

Pace Truck Laps

Chuck Zimmerman

Pace TruckAfter the Ethanol Summit program was over, it was time for a ride around the track. USDA Under Secretary Tom Dorr is inside the truck you see here on his second lap.

I got to ride in the truck afterward. They allowed 3 of us to ride along with the driver. I interviewed them all as we were making our laps today in the Chevrolet Ethanol Pace Truck.

Inside Pace TruckThe guys in the truck with me were Dan Edwards, Indy Track Racking Operations Director (driver), National Corn Growers Association Chairman, Leon Corzine and Waitt Farm Network Director, Emery Kleven. Emery took the picture of me in the back seat with Leon. You can listen to the interview here: Listen To MP3 Indy Pace Truck Interview (3 min MP3)

Just to make it interesting I also shot video clips. The first one here is a Pace Truck drive-by with the USDA Sec. inside. The second one is my ride inside the truck while doing the interview you can hear above.

Watch WMV Pace Car Drive-By (1 min wmv)

Watch WMV Pace Car Laps (3 min wmv)

Audio, EPIC, Ethanol, Indy Racing, Racing, Video