Captain’s Blog – Stardate 03.07.06 – Day 2

Cindy Zimmerman

ICARE at IndyThe E85 Cross Country Tour went through the midwest on Tuesday and got to do some fun things in Indianapolis before landing in Des Moines on Tuesday night. Here is the second installment of their adventures. We will be posting pictures from the trip as soon as we get them. (By the way – I have no idea what “Piddidle!” means – I hope it’s not a bad thing!)
Just added one of the pictures of the group on the track at the Indy – with mega thanks to Whitney Copeland Cole of Indiana AgriNews for sharing a few of her photos. More in a separate post. THANKS WHITNEY!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006:Leaving at a nice bright and early time of 7:00 to meet the Ohio Clean Cities Representative Erika Wiggins, a local Columbus radio station, and a NBC TV station affiliate out of Columbus, Ohio, where we filled up the tank. After leaving Hilliard we started the longest day of the trip. Our second stop came about 4 hours into the day in Indianapolis, Indiana, were we filled up at Joe’s Junction, where a very nice man named Gilbert set us up with a very scrumptious meal of fried chicken, pork fritters, potato wedges, and all the fixin’s. Joe’s Junction also footed the bill for the fuel. We were interviewed by a woman named Whitney Cole who is a field editor for AgriNews Publications. After leaving Joe’s Junction, Ms. Cole followed us to the Indianapolis 500 Speedway. We made a call earlier and set up an opportunity of a lifetime. Upon arrival to the Speedway, we entered under the tunnel which went under the speedway. When reaching the other side we were inside the inter oval of the track. The flip of the coin determined the driver, since we could not rotate drivers on the track. We had to follow a lead car carrying Danny Edwards who is in Public Relations for the track, and Ms. Cole rode in there as well. Unfortunately we were only able to go a top speed of about 50 miles per hour. It truly was the opportunity of a life time. We stopped on the second lap to kiss the Brickyard, which is the strip of bricks that lay across the finish line, and is where every winner of a race that is held there, stops and kisses the bricks. After completing the second lap, we went through the pits, and concluded one of the most exciting parts of the trip. When we got back on the road we calculated how many laps we could complete on the track with one tank of E85. We figured that you could complete about 170 laps before running bone dry. We had to put the pedal to the metal to get to the next stop because of how long the day is. The next stop was in Kankakee, IL, were we filled up the tank. This gas station is owned by VeraSun Energy, who is one of our sponsors, and is also the owner of the Ethanol plant in Fort Dodge, IA. Back on the road again, the third stop of the day was in Normal, IL. When we arrived at Normal, IL we were met by 2 local radio stations, the Illinois AgriNews, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Farm Bureau and representatives from General Motors. The Illinois Corn Growers purchased our tank of E85. The Illinois Clean Cities purchased snacks and refreshments at the gas station for our long journey ahead. Later that day, we stopped at Hardees and engulfed delicious Angus burgers before we arrived in Des Moines, IA. We arrived at the Heartland Inn at 9:30 p.m. and soon were in a deep slumber. “Piddidle!!!”

“See the USA in your Flex Fuel Chevrolet…”

Ethanol, Flex Fuel Vehicles