NASCAR, Growth Energy Salute Our Veterans

At Growth Energy, honoring our military is a tradition and, on July 1, we were proud to work with our partners at NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing to publicly express gratitude for our military service members, past and present.
By Emily Skor | July 25, 2017

American ethanol embodies the American spirit of ingenuity, innovation and patriotism. We are proud of our heritage and appreciative of the opportunities afforded to those who work hard, take risks and play fair. We hold the men and women who have served our country in the armed services in the highest regard because we know full well that their sacrifice and commitment upholds our freedoms and way of life. It’s no wonder that veterans make up 19 percent of the ethanol industry’s workforce. At Growth Energy, honoring our military is a tradition and, on July 1, we were proud to work with our partners at NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing to publicly express gratitude for our military service members, past and present.

NASCAR is as patriotic a sport as you will find. That’s why the NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola program runs throughout much of the summer and honors the U.S. military. As part of that effort, we unveiled a special edition red, white and blue American ethanol paint scheme on Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet race car at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Gen. Wesley Clark, Growth Energy board member, served as the grand marshal of the race. Accompanying him to the track were employees of Growth Energy member companies who had previously served our country in the military, along with their spouses. The group enjoyed a VIP experience at the track as our thank you for their service to our country and our industry, and was honored by a crowd that truly respects and appreciates the sacrifices our military makes for the U.S. every day.

As those who follow the sport might know, NASCAR surpassed 10 million miles driven on Sunoco Green E15 last year during the 2016 racing season. NASCAR made the switch to E15 in 2011 and never looked back. Often, we focus on how well E15 has performed for the sport, delivering more octane, better performance and reduced emissions for every one of those 10 million-plus miles. What is sometimes lost in all that talk about performance is that American ethanol and NASCAR are a perfect match at a deeper level.

The American ethanol industry prides itself on producing homegrown fuel that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, often imported from hostile nations overseas. In my time at the helm of Growth Energy, I have seen firsthand how important it is to our members that the fuel they produce strengthens America’s energy and national security. This industry creates hundreds of thousands of skilled American jobs that cannot be outsourced, supporting communities in the heartland that are proud to feed and fuel America. The ethanol business is hard, honest work, which is exactly what our members want. Above all else, they are proud to be American.

As I’ve come to learn, NASCAR truly shares the same values. According to NASCAR’s data analysis, 16 percent of fans currently serve or have served in the armed forces. Meanwhile, NASCAR fans are approximately 30 percent more likely than nonfans to agree with the idea of purchasing American-made goods whenever they can. Beyond the hard data, there is simply an indescribable feeling of American pride at every race, whether it falls during the NASCAR Salutes period of the season or not.

Our partnership with NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing goes beyond sponsorship agreements and brand visibility. It even extends beyond the beautiful synergies between our high-performance fuel and high-performance race cars driving under the most demanding conditions. At the end of the day, we share many of the same fundamental ideals about what makes this country and the people living in it so great. July Fourth is a wonderful reminder of why being in the sport is such an enriching experience. We are committed to making sure every NASCAR fan across America is a fan of American ethanol, not only because we fuel the sport, but because we, too, embody the values they hold dear.


Author: Emily Skor
CEO, Growth Energy
202.545.4000
eskor@growthenergy.org