The 91st Indy 500 later this month will mark a huge milestone in the history of racing – the first Indy 500 to run on 100 percent fuel grade ethanol.
The effort to get ethanol on the track has largely been driven by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), which was really only started just over two years ago by ethanol industry companies Fagen, ICM, and Broin – the company now known as POET. The Indy Racing League connection was one of EPIC’s first ventures to show the performance value of ethanol and increase its visibility nationwide.
EPIC board member Walter Kittrell of Fagen says even they are amazed by the success of the program. “I don’t think anybody ever thought it would get this far with the 100 percent, that’s something we never expected,” he said in a recent interview at the Kansas Lottery Indy 300. “It’s a gift that we got that we very much appreciate.”
EPIC members now represent more than 2.45 billion gallons of ethanol, as well as a variety of industry partners and associations. “We think everybody that understands ethanol and that’s involved in it needs to come on board and help promote and sponsor this,” Kittrell said.
Listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Walter here: Walter Kittrell Interview (4 min MP3)