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Senators Ask NASCAR to Race on Ethanol, Win for America

Thune, Bayh promote high-powered U.S. ethanol for NASCAR fleet

May 24, 2007

Washington, D.C. —  On the eve of the biggest weekend in auto racing, two United States Senators have asked NASCAR to consider joining the IndyCar Racing League by converting to the "fuel of the future," American-made ethanol.

With the eyes of the world on auto racing, U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) today sent a letter to NASCAR President Brian France, asking that NASCAR begin considering the conversion of its fleet to high-powered U.S. ethanol and the long-term promotion of American-made ethanol.

"Red, white and blue already runs through the engines of NASCAR, so why not a clean-burning American-made fuel like ethanol, too? As an American original that has captured the hearts of millions of fans, young and old, NASCAR has the unique opportunity to set an example for Americans nationwide about the importance of making the switch from unreliable sources of foreign oil to homegrown alternative fuels like ethanol," said Senator Thune. "Ethanol production is rapidly growing across our country and American farmers are leading the way. Just as NASCAR represents American ingenuity and freedom, we are asking them to embrace and promote the freedom of consuming American-made renewable fuels like ethanol."

"No one loves this country more than auto racing fans, and NASCAR has a unique opportunity to take a step that will help the environment and help our national security," said Senator Bayh. "Our dependence on foreign oil is putting the United States in the disturbing position of bankrolling both sides in the War on Terror. We should be looking to the Midwest, not the Mideast, for our fuel. Ethanol is a fuel available right here in America, produced by American farmers. NASCAR can set an example for the rest of the country to follow by showing Americans that if a racecar can hit speeds of 185 miles per hour running on ethanol, then ethanol is good enough for the family minivan, too."

In March, all IndyCars began racing on 100 percent ethanol fuel. Ethanol, a non-toxic, biodegradable fuel, delivers the same power drivers rely on today, only without emitting harmful air pollution. In fact, its high-octane ratings allow engines to run even higher compression ratios by reducing detonation.

This Memorial Day weekend, the checkered flag will drop on the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis and the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C.

Click here to view the Letter to NASCAR President Brian France