The message from ethanol proponents this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is plain and simple. Ethanol is good for the environment, economy, U.S. energy independence, and 15% ethanol blended gasoline is good for your car. Since 2011 Sunoco Green E15 has fueled every national NASCAR series car and truck, and team owner Richard Childress says it works great in his cars.
“When we were asked to start testing the different ethanol blends we tested ethanol blends all the way up to E30 and we didn’t see a problem with it. Actually my opinion, and our opinion from our engine shop, is that the E30 really had a lot of performance. It’s going to be better for our environment. We tore our engines down and they looked clean and were better, and as of today there’s not been one issue, 6 million miles. And we put these engines through the toughest tests you can running them at 9,500 and 9,600 rpm’s straight for 3, 4, or 5 hours of racing.”
Ken Parrent is Director of Biofuels for Indiana Corn and he told HAT at the track that NASCAR’s switch to E15 has really benefited the ethanol industry.
“You know our working relationship with NASCAR has helped improve consumer attitudes toward ethanol. There has been a lot of negative press but the fact that NASCAR has run 6 million miles on E15 without any issues tells us that this fuel will not harm your engines. In fact it actually improves performance.”
Parrent says the industry is producing plenty of ethanol and that’s because demand is growing.
“We are seeing demand growing for ethanol blended fuels. This year the ethanol industry is going to produce a record amount. We’re on a pace to produce more than 14 billion gallons nationally and more than a billion gallons here in Indiana. Consumers are finding that it not only costs them less money to burn ethanol blended fuels in their car, it saves them money even with adjusting for lower mileage.”
That 6 millionth mile on E15 is being achieved this weekend during the 21st running of the 400, this year called the Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
Childress and Parrent appeared at a press conference with Growth Energy’s Tom Buis Friday.