E15 ‘sells itself’

NASCAR driver finds it easy to promote American Ethanol
By Holly Jessen | April 15, 2011

When NASCAR’s “engine guys” reported that E15 resulted in increased horsepower, that’s all it took to convince race car drivers like Clint Bowyer. “This is language that a race car driver wants to hear,” he told EPM.

Bowyer, a driver with Richard Childress Racing, is an official spokesman for American Ethanol, a group of 100 entities promoting ethanol at NASCAR racetracks. A second spokesperson is Kenny Wallace, a driver for RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. American Ethanol, which includes groups such as Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association, announced a six-year partnership with NASCAR starting this year. 

The benefits of using E15 at NASCAR races are many, Bowyer says. It helps make racing more environmentally friendly by reducing emissions. It promotes a domestically produced fuel that creates jobs, and helps the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil. It’s good for U.S. farmers. “I’m from the Midwest,” the Kansas native says. “I’ve seen the impact that it’s made throughout the Midwest.”

The renewable fuel is certainly getting a lot of exposure at NASCAR events. At the races, the American Ethanol logo is everywhere, from green flags in the stands and on the track to green circles around each and every race car’s fuel cap. “Every race is won on green E15 American ethanol,” Bowyer says, adding that NASCAR reaches millions of fans, both at the racetrack and on television.

Before NASCAR started using E15 many people didn’t know the fuel could be used in race cars. Those vehicles travel about 500 miles per race at 9,800 RPMs using a 15 percent blend of ethanol. That sends a strong message about the renewable fuel. “It can certainly stand daily driving on today’s roads,” he says.

While participating in ethanol promotional events both on and off track, Bowyer shares this message with race car fans. It’s a job he considers easy. “Ethanol kind of sells itself,” he says. “It really is a great product to be involved with.” 

—Holly Jessen