NASCAR Has Driven 6 Million Miles on E15 Fuel

NASCAR 6 million milesFor more than three years, NASCAR has run on a race fuel blended with 15 percent American Ethanol, Sunoco Green E15. Last Sunday at the Brickyard in Indianapolis, one of the world’s most historically significant tracks, NASCAR reached a fittingly historic milestone — 6 million miles of competitive racing on the biofuel.

The 6-million mile mark is especially significant because it mirrors the 6 million miles of testing conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy to initially approve E15 for use in all light duty cars and trucks, model year 2001 and newer. When this milestone is reached, E15 will have been proven as a high performance fuel on both the road and the track. With another 6 million miles of NASCAR real-world racing under its belt, E15 will be definitively established as a reliable, dependable and safe fuel that is environmentally friendly, high performance and a less expensive option for consumers.

In 2011, NASCAR and American Ethanol partnered to bring E15 to the sport. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Sunoco Green E15 has fueled every car and every truck in each of NASCAR’s national race series. The introduction of Sunoco Green E15 has been a pivotal part of the NASCAR Green initiative, and has successfully increased horsepower and decreased emissions for the sport.

“NASCAR conducted an exhaustive analysis before making the seamless transition to Sunoco Green E15, a race fuel blended with 15 percent American Ethanol,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “As we eclipse 6 million tough competition miles across our three national series, we can definitively say this renewable fuel stands up to our rigorous racing conditions while significantly reducing our impact on the environment. We are proud to celebrate this milestone at Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with our partners at the National Corn Growers Association and Growth Energy.”


The IL Corn exhibit in Joliet at the Chicagoland Speedway this past weekend featured quite a few stories of agricultural history.  Is history your thing?  It might just be worth your time to stop in and see us.

model T at NASCARWe featured an old Model T Ford in the center of our exhibit.  Did you know that these first vehicles were made to run on 100% ethanol?  In fact, most homes used ethanol for fuel prior to the Civil War.  When President Lincoln needed to fund the war, he placed a tax on alcohol (including ethanol) that first allowed petroleum based fuels into the marketplace as they were cheaper comparatively than ethanol.

In later years, when Henry Ford built the first vehicles, they ran on ethanol fuel.  But a different sort of war, a war of riches and influence between Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller, developed and Rockefeller with his oil fields won.  Thus, petroleum as a vehicle fuel was born.

corn shellerWe also feature an old fashioned corn sheller in our exhibit, right next to the brand new New Holland combine that farmers use today to harvest their crops.  In the 1920s and 1930s, farmers would walk through the fields, harvesting the corn cobs from the plants, placing them in bags, baskets, or wagons, and hauling them to the corn crib (grain storage) on their farm.  As needed for livestock feed, the farmers would use the corn sheller to remove the kernels from each ear of corn.

Today, a combine travels through the field, cutting off the mature corn plant about 4-6 inches from the ground.  The entire plant (stalk, leaves, corn cob, husks, etc) travels through the machine, where every bit of it is separated from the corn kernels.  The kernels end up in a hopper at the top of the machine, while all the rest of the plant is dropped out the back of the machine back onto the field.  This “trash” as farmers call it, will decompose in the field and add organic matter to the soil.  The kernels remaining are augered from the combine into a waiting grain cart or semi to be hauled from the field.

In 1920, farmers grew about 35 bushels per acre.  Today, we grow about 165 bushels per acre.  Efficiencies in our equipment and farm management have allowed us to be much more productive, providing food and fuel for our growing world!

If these stories interest you, definitely check out the video below and consider stopping in to see our tent during the September 14-15 weekend at the Joliet Chicagoland Speedway!  We’d love to share more stories of agricultural history with you in person!

Lindsay MitchellLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director


Congrats to ethanol advocate and NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace on his 3rd place finish at Macon Speedway last night!

corn ethanol performs

And more good news….  the dirt-track race featuring Kenny Wallace has been rescheduled for this coming Monday, July 15, at Peoria Speedway!

You may be aware that the Illinois Corn Marketing Board has been working with NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace since the 2010 racing season. Kenny has worked on behalf of family farmers and ethanol, advocating for your interests in Illinois and beyond.

Please consider joining Kenny on his “Corn Ethanol Performs” summer dirt track racing tour. As an ICGA member, you can request from our office two tickets for you and a guest to the Peoria Speedway on Monday, July 15. Races will start around 7 and gates open earlier in the evening. You’ll have an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity to speak with Kenny and get his autograph, along with a $5 coupon for your use at the concession stands.

If you can make it to the track Monday, July 15, and would like to redeem your ICGA membership benefit, please call our office at (309) 557-3257 to speak with Rosie, the membership assistant.  We need your reservation by NOON on JULY 15.  We’ll verify your membership and put you and your guest’s name on a list and your tickets will be available at the ticket gate.

Please look for information regarding cancellations or race delays from Peoria Speedway in their local announcements or on their website:

Supporting Illinois Corn Growers

Sitting next to the Illinois Family Farmers exhibit outside of Chicagoland Speedway this past weekend was some big iron. As in a New Holland combine and other equipment like tractors and utility vehicles. New Holland is the official ag equipment of NASCAR and lent their support to the exhibit by bringing out the equipment along with some educational materials.

On hand to visit with race fans was Greg Kiesewetter, north Illinois sales manager. Greg is pictured talking with several visitors to the exhibit area on race morning. He says they brought out a variety of equipment for not only farming but also for the construction and consumer market. In supporting Illinois Corn Growers he says they brought a combine with a corn head and a tractor pulling a grain cart to show how the equipment is used in the field. Greg says New Holland is very pumped up about their partnership with Growth Energy and American Ethanol as well as working with the Illinois Corn Growers.

Listen to my interview with Greg here:

2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos

Promoting Ethanol with NASCAR Important to Illinois Corn Growers

The Chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board is Kent Kleinschmidt, pictured here with his wife Sara and NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace. They were attending the Saturday Illinois Corn Growers get together before the race at Chicagoland Speedway. It’s the second year that they’ve held the event. Kent says the sponsorship of the race and Kenny’s #99 car is a very different kind of promotion than they are used to. But once NASCAR decided to move to an E15 fuel blend it opened up a big opportunity and audience to showcase the fuel.

Listen to my interview with Kent here:

2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos

Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock

What does the President of the Chicagoland Speedway think of Illinois Family Farmers and ethanol? Let’s find out. I spoke with him prior to last Saturday’s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Scott says Illinois Family Farmers have been a great partner and this venue is a great place to get the word out to consumers about all the benefits of an American made fuel. He thinks the big equipment in the Family Farmers exhibit is a big hit with race fans who are curious about how their food is grown and made. He also says the track has recently invested significant dollars in track upgrades and new areas for a great fan experience on the infield.

Listen to my interview with Scott here:

2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos

American Ethanol Car Driver Austin Dillon

On Saturday race morning at Chicagoland Speedway the driver of the American Ethanol car, Austin Dillon, paid a visit to the Family Farmers exhibit in Champions Park outside the track. He made some remarks to the people who had gathered around to see him before signing autographs.

I was able to get a moment with Austin. He says he’s always excited to come to the midwestern tracks in the heart of corn country where a majority of the feedstock that’s making the Sunoco Green E15 he’s racing on is grown. He’s glad that corn growers can come out to see him race and have a good time at the track.

Listen to my interview with Austin here:

Listen to Austin’s remarks to the crowd here:

2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos

Illinois Family Farmers Educating Race Fans

Illinois Family Farmers entertained and educated NASCAR race fans again this past weekend. The exhibit featured everything from a large New Holland combine to games like this one and many Illinois family farmers took part in helping talk with the crowd.

During set up day I visited with Mark Schneidewind, farmer and manager of Will County Farm Bureau. Listen to my interview with Mark to learn what was in store for race fans when they come out to the track:

You can find lots of photos from this weekend’s activities here: 2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos


It was NASCAR race weekend once again for the Illinois Corn Growers and Illinois Family Farmers. Our favorite driver and just a stand out agvocate, Kenny Wallace, stopped by to visit with farmers before Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race. Race fans love Kenny and you’ll see that in the video of his presentation below. Here’s Kenny posing with some of his young fans.

I also got to talk with Kenny after his presentation. He was excited to see some new farmer faces at this race weekend. He says farmers are interested in the same things as all race fans like team communication during the race, how many tires the team gets to run on and more.

You can listen to my interview with Kenny here:

You can find lots of photos from this weekend’s activities here: 2012 NASCAR Dollar General 300 Race Photos