E15 Debuts at Daytona

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The February 19 NASCAR opener in Daytona Beach, Florida featured the debut of a brand new fueling system featuring Sunoco Green ™ E15, a 15 percent ethanol blend gasoline.

“It was truly inspiring to see the 120,000 fans in the stands waving the flags with the green American Ethanol logo,” said Chad Willis, a farmer from Willmar, who serves as vice chairman of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council and of the ethanol committee of National Corn Growers Association. “This is going to be a great partnership that will reach a very large audience with our message about the importance of ethanol to American farmers, to America’s energy security and our future of clean energy and economic growth.”

NASCAR has forged a partnership with Growth Energy and National Corn Growers Association to use E15 for the Truck, Sprint Cup and Nationwide series races. The starting flag this year will feature the American Ethanol logo and the fuel ports on all the racing vehicles are encircled by the logo, as well.

“This will definitely have a positive impact on public perceptions of ethanol,” said Willis. “The timing is great, with EPA just announcing that E15 is approved for cars and light trucks built 2001 and after.”

The next political challenge comes at the state level, where ethanol advocates in each state will have to push for legislation that allows E15 in the pumps. Willis predicted that the exposure through NASCAR will help.

“Getting a message out to a national audience is never easy,” said Willis. “This will be a very effective vehicle. NASCAR has a fan base of 70 million people, and is one of the most popular televised sporting events. If you can reach 120,000 people at the racing events each weekend that’s a huge thing, not to mention the impact on the television audience.”

NASCAR aired a one-minute advertisement during the telecast that emphasized the farm connection to ethanol.

See the American Ethanol commercial on ESPN (NASCAR put it together).

Domestic Fuel reported on the race: “American-Ethanol-sponsored driver Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Chevrolet, performed well this weekend, winning a pole position, coming in second, and scoring the sixth starting position for the Daytona 500. Bowyer led that premier event 11 times for 31 laps and then finished 17th, after a massive pileup only four laps before the end of the race.”

For more coverage on the NASCAR E15 partnership go to



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