Odometers are not standard equipment on the race cars competing in NASCAR but if they were, collectively they surpassed a momentous milestone over the weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR began running Sunoco Green E15 in its three top national series back in 2011 and Saturday during the NASCAR XFINITY Series™ Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 race, NASCAR hit and surpassed 7 million miles of racing, the equivalent of almost 30 trips from the earth to the moon or 281 laps around the earth!
NASCAR made the fuel change in conjunction with their NASCAR Green® Platform, the largest and most comprehensive recycling, tree planting and renewable energy programs in sports. Not only has the move to Sunoco Green E15 proven to be an environmentally beneficial decision, it’s actually boosted the performance of the race cars in all three national series – lowering emissions and increasing horsepower.
“From our initial seamless transition to Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent American-grown, American-made ethanol racing fuel blend in Daytona in 2011 to 7 million miles reached here at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR has shown under the most demanding competition that E15 is safe, reliable and it works,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, Vice President, NASCAR Green Innovation and STEM Platforms. “NASCAR fans are 80 percent more likely than non-fans to support the use of ethanol blends in their own car on the street, because they understand that NASCAR and our diligent race teams did our homework from the start with thousands of miles and hours of testing.”
“NASCAR validates what a great performance fuel [E15] is,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “If you meet with the teams and talk with the owners, they have noticed only increased horsepower, higher performance, and reduced emissions without a single issue when it comes to durability and dependability.” Buis added, “This partnership has been critical in showing the American consumer that if E15 performs in the most rigorous and demanding situations in motorsports, it’s clearly a safe, high performance reliable fuel that is good for American consumers who want a choice and savings at the pump.”
“Thanks to countless miles of testing, research and collaboration with NASCAR, we were prepared to run Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol fuel in our race cars and the transition was flawless,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “We didn’t listen to the negative rhetoric about this, we did our own homework and testing and the switching of fuels has gone fantastic. It has also been very welcomed throughout NASCAR. Since this change took place, we have seen increased horsepower from a higher-octane ethanol fuel blend and decreased emissions. In our own internal tests at RCR, we used ethanol blends up to E30 and found no issues with that fuel, either. If you need any further proof, look no further than the 7 million miles NASCAR is about to complete.”
“Drivers across the United States have a long and successful history with 10 percent ethanol blended fuel,” said Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Nebraska and National Corn Growers Association Board member. “Frankly, they like the cost savings provided by ethanol and the fact it comes from family farmers. Automotive technology has changed and so have the needs of the public. Cars made since 2001 are designed to run on E15 and NASCAR has proven to be a great way to grow consumer awareness as E15 availability grows.”