By Matt Reese
February and the start of the NASCAR season are just around the corner. This occasion has taken on an important place in the life of one of my co-workers in recent years.
She was never a big NASCAR fan, but after she married a diehard follower of the sport several years ago, she had to make some life changes. To deal with this potential source of marital strife, she called one of her friends in a similar situation to determine the best way to acclimate to her new life of NASCAR. That is when she learned the secret of the NASCAR nap.
Apparently, most of the drama, excitement and spectacle of NASCAR can be enjoyed in the first half hour and the final hour of the event. Hence, devoted wives of NASCAR fans can take a roughly two-hour Sunday afternoon nap during the middle of the race and still be able to hold competent discussions with their husbands about the event.
The secret of the NASCAR nap has transformed my co-worker from someone who would dread watching races into a fan who actually cannot wait for the beginning of the season, which kicks off right when a winter Sunday nap is particularly appealing. And, working in the agricultural industry, she also has a keen interest in NASCAR’s increased ethanol use in 2011. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the nation’s renewable fuel industry and NASCAR have partnered after the popular racing organization agreed it would fuel all races with E15, a 15% corn ethanol blend, starting with the 2011 season.
“The productivity of America’s farmers is unrivaled in the world and our ability to supply corn for food, livestock feed and fuel should be a source of national pride. This exciting new association with the NASCAR Nation will help to build that awareness,” said Bart Schott, NCGA president. “With precision farming, innovation, technology and hard work farmers can double our harvest in the years ahead. NASCAR is a high-profile way to showcase one great use for this abundance.”
As part of the multi-year agreement, American Ethanol, a family of related companies developing community-based renewable energy and fuel production facilities, will be highlighted on every vehicle running in a NASCAR race and be prominent on NASCAR’s Green Flag. In addition, American Ethanol will sponsor a new award for every race, be featured in on-site race day events and more. American Ethanol will support drivers, teams and tracks with marketing, promotional activities and advertising.
“NASCAR and American Ethanol are ideal partners,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR is a great American sport in its third generation of family ownership, and ethanol is produced from the harvest of family-owned farms across our country’s heartland.
“American Ethanol’s new partnership with NASCAR is much larger and more ambitious than a typical sports sponsorship. Here we have an entire industry looking to NASCAR to communicate its message that America is capable of producing its own renewable, greener fuel. The entire NASCAR industry will benefit from American Ethanol’s multi-faceted support of NASCAR, as well as from thousands of farmers and members of the ethanol supply chain now serving as new ambassadors for the sport.”
Led by Growth Energy, nearly 100 different entities — from individual ethanol plants to NCGA to biotech companies — are rallying around NASCAR to communicate their ethanol message.
“E15 is an enormous opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create U.S. jobs, and strengthen national energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “There is nothing more American than NASCAR, and there is no fuel more American than ethanol. We are so proud that the bounty of American farming will be used in NASCAR racing.”
The use of ethanol will bring about a number of other subtle changes and improvements to the sport in 2011. So whether you are a diehard viewer of every moment of action, or someone more interested in the NASCAR nap, fans will have something new and exciting to look forward to this season.
For more information on NASCAR ethanol use, visit www.americanethanolracing.com.