American Ethanol Celebrates Great First Year

Cindy Zimmerman

The partnership between NASCAR and ethanol is officially one year old and it has been a great year for racing on the renewable fuel.

It was one year ago last week at the NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas that American Ethanol was announced, a partnership that includes Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association.

Throughout the 2011 NASCAR season, every race car and truck in the Sprint, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series ran on Sunoco Green E15 as part of the American Ethanol partnership. And every race weekend, NASCAR’s newest special award, the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award was given to the participating driver who recorded the fastest average speed on restarts and who finished the race on the lead lap – a reminder of American Ethanol’s dedication to NASCAR’s green initiatives.

At this year’s Champions Week in Las Vegas, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis gave an overall award to No. 17 driver Matt Kenseth for winning the Green Flag the most times in the 2011 season.

“I appreciate American Ethanol and Growth Energy and Sunoco for making such a great fuel this year,” Kenseth said when he accepted the award. “It worked great, it’s been good for the environment, it’s been good for NASCAR and we appreciated being a part of it.”

According to NASCAR officials and drivers, the E15 fuel blend has met and surpassed expectations – providing increased horsepower with minimal decrease in mileage. In fact, NASCAR’s 2011 Million Mile Report, proved that NASCAR racing vehicles accumulated more than a million miles of practice, qualifying and racing laps on E15 without any problems.

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