This is the year of ethanol for NASCAR with its newly formed partnership with Growth Energy, the introduction of Sunoco Green E15 and more recently, American Ethanol and the National Corn Growers Association’s sponsorship of Clint Bowyer’s No. 33 Chevrolet at Kansas Speedway STP 400.

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American Ethanol and the National Corn Growers Association sponsored Clint Bowyer’s No. 33 Chevrolet at the Kansas Speedway STP 400 in Kansas City, Ka. Photo credit: Richard Childress Racing.

Growth Energy, an ethanol advocacy group, has members including farmers, the National Corn Growers Association and biotech companies among others.

“American Ethanol’s new partnership with NASCAR is much larger and more ambitious than a typical sports sponsorship,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “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.”

NASCAR’s ethanol initiative leads the nation as the Environmental Protection Agency moves towards increasing ethanol at local gas pumps from 10 to 15 percent. With its use of Sunoco Green E15, America’s premier racing organization is reducing greenhouse gas emissions with low-emission, renewable and environmentally friendly fuel.

“The transition to Sunoco Green E15 takes our long-term sustainability strategy to the next level. Sunoco Green E15 is good for racing, good for the environment and good for America,” France added during the original announcement in October 2010. “While fueling the same close, door-to-door racing that thrills our fans, American Ethanol creates jobs in the United States, helps foster energy independence, and continues the greening of our sport.”

The Sunoco Green E-15 is a 15 percent ethanol blend that underwent months of testing to meet NASCAR’s high standards of fuel quality. The ethanol is blended by Sunoco’s fuel facility in Marcus Hook, Pa., and made exclusively with corn produced by America’s farmers.

“We’re proud to be part of NASCAR’s dedication to conservation with Sunoco Green E15—the ultimate high-test ethanol fuel blend,” noted Bob Owens, senior vice president of Sunoco. “In our six years as official fuel partner, Sunoco has changed with the times by helping NASCAR transition to unleaded fuel, and now we are eager to produce for the sport a high performance ethanol blend.”

Mike Lynch, managing director for Green Innovation for NASCAR added, “With Sunoco Green E15, we are leading by example, showing that this renewable fuel—which reduces greenhouse gas emissions—works in the most demanding racing environment in the world.”

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Clint Bowyer and his No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet finished in the top 20. Credit: Richard Childress Racing

NASCAR’s ethanol partnership was highlighted at the Kansas City Raceway’s STP 400 on June 5. Kansas native Clint Bowyer, whose No.33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was sponsored by American Ethanol and the National Corn Growers Association, prominently displayed the logos and their black, silver and green colors.

Bowyer finished in the top 20. Winner Brad Keselowski, driving the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger praised the transition to ethanol in interviews following the race.

“NASCAR and American Ethanol are ideal partners,” France commented. “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.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis added, “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.”

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