The official name for Saturday’s IndyCar Series opener may have been the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300, but on ESPN2 it was the 2007 Ethanol IndyCar 300 Presented by XM.
Ethanol could not have been more prominent in the ESPN2 coverage of the race, which included the “e” brand on graphics, features about the fuel, regular mentions that the drivers were “filling up with ethanol” and the brand new 30-second ethanol television spots. ESPN2 on-line coverage includes side and top banners for ethanol. People watching the race could hardly fail to know that the cars are now running on 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol.
BY THE NUMBERS:
– 5,000 – The number of gallons of ethanol that were shipped to Homestead-Miami Speedway for use by IndyCar Series teams this weekend.
– One – The number of plants that produce ethanol for the IndyCar Series. Renova Energy in Torrington, Wyo., is the exclusive supplier.
– 2005 – The year the IndyCar Series first announced plans for use of ethanol, after years of running on methanol.
– 10 – The percentage of ethanol blended with methanol in 2006, to prepare the IndyCar Series to the move to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in 2007.
– 22 – The size of an IndyCar Series car fuel tank. Since ethanol is more efficient than methanol, the IndyCar Series has reduced the size of its fuel tanks to 22 gallons this season.
– 6,372 – The number of laps run during the preseason Open Tests using 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol and the new 3.5 liter Honda HI7R V-8 Indy engine with no failures.