NASCAR has started reducing energy use with a couple methods such as turning the team trucks off, setting up solar panels and wind mills, changing light bulbs and improving insulation in buildings. NASCAR has made it mandatory that when the race teams are unloading the race cars and equipment out of the trucks, they must be turned off to save gas. The delivery drivers for the race track also have solar powered trucks instead of diesel trucks (Carpenter). Freightliner is the official hauler of NASCAR. The Freightliner Coronado is what a majority of the race teams choose to pull their trailer. This truck is equipped with a clean idle feature that puts off less pollution when the truck is idling in traffic. Freightliner also has different engines that come in their trucks. One of them is a Blue Tec clean-Diesel that only puts out nitrogen and water in the exhaust, which are both safe for us to breath. This system of exhaust helps the engines run at the highest efficiency and allows up to 5 percent better fuel mileage (demanddetroit.com). NASCAR uses the Blue Tec clean-Diesel engine in one of their tracks that hauls a Coca-Cola’s portable processing center, which can process a thousand bottles in a minute. NASCAR has also been modifying the tracks to use less energy.
Pocono Raceway has built a 25 acre solar panel farm that has 40 thousand panels and supplies all the energy for the track and enough to power 250 additional houses in the area (Lynch). This isn’t the only racetrack doing things like this. Other tracks, like Infineon Raceway and New Hampshire International Speedway, are taking a natural approach. Infineon Raceway has nearly 3 thousand sheep to maintain the grass length, and have installed 15 owl boxes to keep the number of rodents down without the use of pesticides. New Hampshire international speedway has reserved 520 acres of land for native species of plant and animal life to thrive. The tracks aren’t the only ones making changes.
Some of the race teams are getting new, more efficient light bulbs and insulation in their workshops. Doing just these two simple and easy things can be equal to taking 65 cars off the road for a year and adding 93 acres of forest. An even better thing they could do is install sky lights similar to what Wal-Mart has in their stores. The lights only turn on when there isn’t a certain amount of light going through the sky light. Darlington Raceway is planting switch grass that can be made into bio-diesel and other fuels. Farmers use the official tractor of NASCAR to plant and collect the switch grass, which is New Holland. It might sound weird that NASCAR, a sport dedicated to speed, has an official tractor because nothing about tractors is fast. NASCAR uses the tractors if there is an accident. The tractors have an attachment that can lift the cars off the track until a tow truck can drag them away, or they have a sweeper attachment that is used to brush any debris away and off the track. New Holland has been the exclusive supplier of tractors to NASCAR for the past 30 years. The farmers that supply NASCAR with these goods use their own land or the land NASCAR has provided. The fuels made from the grass can be used in the racecars, the trucks to transport them and the tractors that service the track (Lynch). NASCAR is also showing how they are going green by planting trees.
The major producers of corn that is then made into ethanol are Green Plains, Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association, and POET. Green Plains Renewable Energy is the fourth largest ethanol producer of North America. Every year, Green Plains markets and distributes about one billion gallons of renewable fuel. Growth Energy doesn’t actually produce corn to be made into ethanol, but they represent the producers and supporters of ethanol. They help make the United States less reliant on other countries for energy sources, like oil. This is also a good thing because it is healthier for the environment to burn ethanol rather than fossil fuels. Growth Energy also keeps money in the United States, which boosts our economy. The National Corn Growers Association’s website states that their mission is to create and increase opportunities for corn growers. Their vision is to make corn grows more environmentally and economically stable, and to make the public view their efforts of using corn as fuel in a positive way to make the market bigger. The NCGA also wants to make more uses for corn and make the efficiency of corn better (Hodes). Poet is one of the world’s largest ethanol producers (lynch). Poet’s vision is to reduce the United States dependency on foreign energy such as oil from Latin America, Canada, and the Persian Gulf (Flintoff). Poet also wants to come up with and produce a clean, affordable alternative to fossil fuels. Until there is an alternative to fossil fuels NASCAR continues to use unleaded fuel.