Monday, December 27, 2010

The Ethanol Time Bomb

It was December 2, 2010 when NASCAR Chairman Brian France made the announcement that NASCAR was switching fuels in 2011 to a 15 percent corn ethanol blend under the American Ethanol banner.

"NASCAR and American Ethanol are ideal partners," said France. "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."

In 2011, NASCAR will be using television and radio to communicate exactly that message. TV viewers will see and hear about American Ethanol during every single race weekend for the ten months of the season. While France may have believed he was reaping a bumper crop of sponsor dollars, he may in fact have put NASCAR squarely in the middle of a raging national energy debate.

"Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank," said Dr. Walter Williams, economics professor at George Mason University. "That's enough corn to feed one person for a year."

“There is nothing more American than NASCAR and there is no fuel more American than ethanol.” said Tom Buis, CEO of corn ethanol promoter Growth Energy. “We are so proud that the bounty which America’s farmers produce throughout the week will be used in NASCAR racing on Sunday.”

"Not only is corn ethanol wildly inefficient, I mean, it takes more energy to produce it than it ends up providing," said conservative TV host Glenn Beck of Fox News.

“I am a strong believer in the future of ethanol,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “A marketing partnership between American Ethanol and NASCAR following NASCAR’s switch to E15 is clearly a powerful move for the American ethanol industry.”

To test ethanol fuel efficiency, Dan Edmunds of twice drove from San Diego to Las Vegas and back in a flex-fuel car. First, he fueled up with standard E10 gasoline.

"On E10 gasoline, we made the round trip with 36.5 gallons," said Edmunds. He then repeated the trip using E85, the gasoline replacement fuel for vehicles being promoted by the corn ethanol lobby. "On E85 it took 50 gallons, 37 percent more fuel, to make the round trip," Edmunds says. "Same distance, same vehicle." Click here to read the entire story.

"Higher blends of ethanol do not significantly impact miles per gallon," said Growth Energy's Buis to the San Antonio Express-News. "Since NASCAR has moved to E15, its drivers have not detected any notable decline in MPG. Instead, they've seen an increase in horsepower."

This news from the Wall Street Journal last week: "Although ethanol advocates cite research saying E15 won't damage vehicles, auto makers hold that E15 could harm car and light truck engines and void their warranties. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and other auto companies, filed a petition with a U.S. appellate court in Washington on Monday challenging the EPA's approval for the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol."

Needless to say, that directly puts three key NASCAR manufacturers publicly against the exact same fuel that NASCAR has just committed to run for the 2011 season.

"Anytime you have Paul Krugman (NY Times) agreeing with the Wall Street Journal (News Corp.), Reason Magazine (Libertarian), Investor's Business Daily, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, John Stossel (click here to view), The Ecological Society of America, the Heritage Foundation (Republican think tank), George Will and Time Magazine you know that corn ethanol has to be one of the most misguided public policies in US history," said University of Michigan economics professor Mark Perry.

Get used to the term "American Ethanol green flag." That's right, NASCAR's green flag is now sponsored and will have the AE logo imprinted on it. This term will be used on TV and radio coverage for all national NASCAR events on starts and restarts.

All of this comes at a time when NASCAR is significantly changing how it deals with the public and the media. Click here for a review of the influence that the Taylor marketing firm is having on the sport.

In 2011, NASCAR will have an even tighter leash on what can be said about the sport and who can say it. The positive marketing of all things NASCAR will be the emphasis and public relations for NASCAR, including social media like Facebook and Twitter, will be controlled by professionals used to promoting products to consumers.

The corn ethanol lobby has already flooded the Internet with positive stories, using the same online marketing tactic as companies like ExtenZe and US Fidelis. A casual Google search for information on corn ethanol forces users to sift through tons of content created by brand marketers.

Next season, NASCAR fans will be confronted with a extensive campaign championing corn ethanol as a great American innovation for energy independence. NASCAR will be positioned as the perfect example of what is right with this energy product.

Whether the American Ethanol sponsorship turns out to be a financial windfall for NASCAR in a tough economy or an ill-advised strategic move that ultimately drags the sport into an even wider debate about renewable energy has yet to be seen. Either way, this could wind-up being the big media story of 2011.

We welcome your comments on the media, NASCAR and the new Sunoco E15 promotion. We are not looking for comments on the positive or negative aspects of ethanol, but rather how this change by Mr. France for the sport will play-out on television, radio and in the NASCAR media. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below.

This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

“Whether the American Ethanol sponsorship turns out to be a financial windfall for NASCAR in a tough economy or an ill-advised strategic move…” It is both. BZF did this solely for the money and the racing teams will have to bear all the cost. MC

Vicky D said...

Since Brian France spouted off about ethenol, I am one who is very skeptical of it. I also think we need corn to eat instead of putting it in our cars!

51 yr. fan said...

When Bo Zo France uses the word
"partners" you can bet money is at
the forefront. That is his code
word for meaning we will let you
make money. It would be interesting to know what NA$CAR is
being paid by the corn producers.
Why don't some of our ace reporters
find out if this change is coming
as a public service or this is another "Official Sponsor" cash
cow? Once these suppliers get
enough people converted think what they can do to the price of corn.
And we think the Arabs have a captive clientel?

Finally a personal veriword (addled).

Unknown said...

Is there anything the France family won't do to make a buck? Logic, reasoning, consequences be damned?

And then they wonder why all the fans are bailing like rats off of a sinking ship?

I use to think NASCAR's problem was either supreme arrogance or ignorance, but I think they've mastered the combination of both.

Sigh. Unreal.

Ben Florance said...

Lord knows I am no fan of Glenn Beck, he is correct because ethanol is not a very efficient alternative energy source. The only reason it is popular is because of politicians wishing to run for President realizing since Iowa is the first primary/caucus of the election you better not anger the corn growers.

AncientRacer said...

This makes my head ache.

KoHoSo said...

Here in the middle of free-falling television ratings and track attendance -- things that began well before The Great Recession -- Bo Zo France (that's a great one, 51 yr. fan!) is going to add on one more thing to constantly anger the traditional (a.k.a. mostly politically conservative) fan base that is already either devoting less time and money to following the sport if not leaving completely.

Why do I have the feeling that, 50 years from now, students studying business management in college will be given textbooks with at least one whole chapter devoted to NASCAR of the early 21st Century and that it will be titled, "How Not to Run a Successful Business." :-(

This is bad news, folks. It's going to be a distraction from the on-track action and turn almost every NASCAR online forum into a political brouhaha. And, mark my words...right or wrong, believe or disbelieve in the product...having ethanol shoved down their throats with constant mentions during every race will cause more people to leave the grandstands and their television screens than it will in getting others to take interest in it.

JohnP said...

Ethanol is just a huge political boon-doggle designed to transfer tax payer money to mid-west farmers. I guess the discusting France family has learned a loop hole in the tax code to get Federal substaties - from the Amerian tax payer.

The net effect of ethanol is it raises prices of gas, decreases efficiency of our vehicles, tears up our lawn mowers, trimmers, etc. And God help anyone with a classic car - It tears up the rubber gas lines and gaskets. And it also goes bad extremely quick because it has so much water in it. There is nothing good about ethanol.

To boot, it raises food prices for our country and the entire world.

And I don't want to hear from anyone that it's not made from human food, that it's made from "field corn".

Everyone already knows that and it's not relevant. The simple fact is that the acre of land to produce "field corn" for ethanol could of been food for human consumption.

Ethanol is a joke brought to us by Washington D.C. and mid-west mega farmers.

Even Al Gore is now against it.

It seems BF is always behind the curve on what society actually thinks. Plus this idiot should know better then to head off and promote what has become a huge issue with the American population. You either love ethanol, or hate it. No middle ground. This fan hates ethanol because of all the damage it does.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The E15 fuel will be trucked in for every single race in special vehicles.

It is unable to be put into the ground storage tanks and pumped at the tracks.

During the early part of the season, moisture is the key concern for the teams as they face this challenge.

Only a very small amount of water finding its way into the fuel will cause major problems.

Note: Let's bring the discussion back to center by eliminating the name calling. Brian France was not alone in the decision-making process for this change.

Over the next several months, the reality of the situation will be revealed as racing begins.

FOX, ESPN and SPEED will all be actively involved in promoting this change in February when all three networks offer NASCAR racing.

It should be interesting to see how the in-program mentions, the commercials and the special features on this topic are handled by three very different TV networks.


sbaker17 said...

I'm going to buy stock in the 'dry sweep' product business. I think NASCAR is going to need a lot of it next year.

The Loose Wheel said...

JD, this is just another sign that Brian France and the people running NASCAR are completely out of touch with the fans that fuel the lifeblood of the sport. The simple fact that they are trying to re-brand US, the fans and that they are going to take sponsoring every tiny aspect of the sport to an even more depressing level is further proof that Brian just doesn't "get it."

Shoving a positive message down our throats is the wrong way to handle this. And quite honestly I hope a major television network takes NASCAR square on next year with some facts about ethanol and actually asks the braintrust at NASCAR some hard hitting questions rather than the softballs we've seen lobbed the last 5 plus years.

This move isn't proactive at all for NASCAR, simply reactive to the fact that their attempt to oversell sponsorship to the sport failed so they had to reach elsewhere.

The real question is how does Sunoco really feel about all this? You got an exclusive contract and now people are going to talk about ethanol more than Sunoco....

West Coast Diane said...

Many years ago when the ethanol scam started, my husband got into an argument with my brother over this issue. My husband is an engineer. Took him a nano second to figure out that ethanol is totally inefficient and a bigger drain on energy than gasoline. Also, that food prices using corn were going to rise. My brother refused to believe it. Now my husband just laughs.

When will King Brian make the move to hybrids on the race track or electric cars? Pit stop would be a plug in to a quick charge station while tires are changed...LOL! When they all come in on a caution the town next to the race track goes dark...ha! Unless of course they have a nuclear energy plant near by. Pretty sad when a country like France who took our nuclear plant designs are now 30+ years ahead of us.

Since BZF wasn't aware that many fans don't like the Chase it is apparent he reads nothing and doesn't ask for research before making decisions. Show me the money!

Also can't wait to see how the TV guys spin the ethanol angle.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if NASCAR consulted the auto companies on their opinion prior to the announcement,and if so what their reaction was.As for
Mr.Beck,even a non working clock is correct for 2 seconds every 24 hours.

Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...

NASCAR has allowed itself to become part of a debate that is as much or political than scientific. While individual politcal candidates have sponsored a race car here and there, they've been few and far between, this is an important first for NASCAR. Much closer analogy would be for NASCAR to become the official partner for Newt Gingrich, or Ralph Nadar for president. It will be very divisive and the science is on the opposite side from NASCAR.

mrclause said...

Even NASCAR itself has stated that the new fuel will get less mileage. So it gets less mileage, it's more problematic pertaining to water, it has raised the price of corn hence higher grocery costs, it has created a new industry which has to make money from the manufacture of it. So the real benefit is exactly what to the consumer?

This is just so much wool being pulled over the public's eyes.

Actually it could get real interesting for NASCAR. Anyone that understands the condensation factor of fuel storage can see the problems looming. Heat of the day vs chill of the night in a tank equals moisture. Humidity equals moisture. Rain equals moisture.

This PR move and that's all this is, just may be the biggest backfire NASCAR has ever heard.

Auto Journalist said...

The corn lobby has been absolutely nuts over the last few years. It's not the farmers getting rich, either - it's Archer Daniels Midland, and their lobbyists.

So now they've got NASCAR on board. Brilliant - you know, in the same way restrictor plates and splitters and the big "Fast & Furious" wing were brilliant.

For anyone who's paying attention, the ethanol being used by Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series - which is a E85 concentration of the stuff - is cellulosic. No corn. The corn lobby hates it. Cellulosic ethanol is just as bad in your car as cornohol, but it's mostly sourced from biomass - food and crop waste - so it comes in at the end of the consumer cycle, rather than the beginning.

The points here: 1, Yes, Gasohol sucks now just like it did in the 70s, and 2, if you must dilute your gas with alcohol, there's far better sources for it than corn.

Nice dance, Baby Boy Brian. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what is in their tanks or who the sponsors of green flags are? Just add it to the list of nonsense items that already have to be tuned out mentally on NASCAR broadcasts.

GinaV24 said...

So once again, BZF will take the money and run, even if it is bad for the sport.

And I can't wait to have the green flag sponsored! Wow, that will really make me watch more racing on TV!

I've seen a lot of articles about the whole ethanol debacle and it sounds like the american public is being sold a bill of goods and that includes the NASCAR fans.

Great, I want the thought police in charge of NASCAR's message through all the various media and social networks.

I really prefer to think for myself and it makes me even more annoyed with NASCAR when they seem to think that by controlling the message they will also control the minds of the fans.

uncredentialed said...

NASCAR will probably partner up next with Myspace.

allisong said...

Ahhh, the off-season. Time for raging paranoia, hysteria, and negativity. Remember last off-season, the subject was the new sponsorship by ServiceMaster of the caution periods? Everyone here was sure it was going to be "shoved down our throats". "We won't be able to escape it", "They'll throw cautions just to get them mentioned." etc, etc. Well, what happened? Not one complaint or even a mention during the race day live chats. Turned out, it was an ISC and SMI sponsorship, which entailed mentions on radio only.

Leaving the politics of it aside, I predict the same thing will happen here. Having the green flag sponsored is no different than having the Sunoco logo on the checkered flag. (Did you even notice that was there?)

Yes, they will mention the word "ethanol", probably as often as they use the word "Sunoco", since Sunoco is providing the ethanol in question. And at the end of the day, the sky will not fall.

Roland said...

You know ive kept my mouth shut on this whole ethanol thing but i guess ill chime in. I agree with Allisong. Changing to ethanol is not a sin last time i checked.

I dont know if the numbers are true about ethanol being less efficient to gas but that doesnt have much to do with Nascar. We dont race street cars so whats the point in even looking at that. You cant use race gas in a street car anyway, and since the fuel is free to the teams its really Sunoco that takes the hit. The gas is payed for by the advertising revenue generated from having that little sticker on every car in the race. Its Sunocos problem to worry about not ours. 99.9% of the people driving to races in their cars use gasoline and not ethanol. I dont see ethanol stations popping up everywhere.

Regardless of peoples opinion on ethanol, it is by definition a biofuel. Whether its better than gas or not is beside the point. Iys a biofuel made with corn grown in america, as opposed to oil shipped in from the middle east. Thats why I have no problem with ethanol.

I dont like Brian France either, but this is a discussion about ethanol on a blog about TV coverage, this is not a discussion about Brian France. He may have made the decision to use ethanol, but this is about ethanol, not him. Come on guys lets take a step back and be reasonable about things for a change.

Allison J said...

It is a relevant topic, because it's about TV sponsorship and NASCAR being a part of the fleecing of the American mind. You don't care? Good for you. But clearly, the overwhelming number of comments here get the picture. Maybe you don't care about food for people, propaganda machines, etc., but maybe you will care when your classic '57 Chevy's engine takes the big one because ADM and Monsanto and corporate ag decided that what's best for them is best for you, too. Respectfully submitted.

Anonymous said...

"Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...
NASCAR has allowed itself to become part of a debate that is as much or political than scientific." As is 'global warming', which we have ample evidence of all up & down the East Coast this weekend. :)
Not only does it raise the price of corn, it then raises the price of beef, milk, cheese, pigs, etc., in an already tight economy. Marybeth

WickedJ said...

JD, i read somewhere that the ethanol the IRL uses(sugar cane) is much more efficent and actually better environmentally than the corn based stuff NASCAR is going to use so what you just said pretty much backs that up

Oh well, i guess ill sleep in on Sundays

Daly Planet Editor said...

You can go to a website called for more information and opinion on sugarcane ethanol.

That issue is not a part of this discussion. The IRL and ALMS websites also discuss that topic.



Roland said...

Just to clarify a couple things for allison J

I do care about food for people. But we dont eat corn for our 3 meals a day either.

I dont own a chevy. I own a nissan versa. thank you.

Also respectifully submitted.

Zetona said...

It's a PR stunt, obviously. American-made fuel for an all-American sport. What I'm wondering is if the cellulosic ethanol the ALMS is also produced in America. If it comes from biomass, there's no reason why it can't, and if NASCAR went with that, I'm sure there'd be much less controversy.

The Loose Wheel said...

My issue here is that the sport keeps trying to prop itself up as innovative and "ahead of the curve" when in all actuality it really is merely reactive and reactive at a slow pace.

We've seen this with fuel injection, we've seen this with television, and we're seeing it with ethanol. The time to have gotten on the ethanol wagon was long before it was widely known that it is in all actuality a less efficient fuel. By promoting the "all American fuel" line though, what does that mean they are saying about the Sunoco fuel they ran before? Essentially my issue here is that you took Sunoco's money to be an EXCLUSIVE fuel partner to NASCAR, then took another party's money to become and ethanol supplier, and told the two to cooperate. Now how does that make sense? I really do, as stated before, wonder where Sunoco will stand in the big picture.

It's just a mess getting ready to unfold. No matter who is involved, ethanol is so controversial right now due to its production, efficiency, etc people will be polarized one way or the other. Not what NASCAR really needs right now in my opinion...

I would hope that in time they will actually find an alternative fuel that works. Really wish NASCAR wasn't used as a proving ground for it though...

Oh, also this is David...just a new name.

Mule said...

It's just another cash cow for BZF & NASCAR. It's not about the sport, not about the fans, just $$$$$.!
Whether it's good or bad for NASCAR remains to been seen. At a time when NASCAR needs all the pluses it can get, they should have left this one alone. Too controversial. The negatives out weigh the positives. Stop and think about it a moment. How many times during a race do we already hear about Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR? I can't wait to hear one of the pit bimbo's try and stuff, "A can of Sunoco E15 ethanol racing fuel" into a pit stop.
BZF still fuels his greed and ego with E80 proof Cutty Sark, and leaves everyone else to wallow in the mud. Honestly, I don't think he rally cares about NASCAR, the fans, or the sport. It's all about the money.

Anonymous said...

mmm.. NASCAR is going to promote E-85, and the gov snuck a bill into the Bush tax breaks, which give NASCAR tax breaks, on there race tracks. mmm..

The Mad Man said...

While everyone seems to be locked in on this being an "American" fuel, my question is where is the petroleum part of the fuel actually coming from? Is it coming from American oil wells and American refinieries or is the petroleum part of the fuel still coming from the Middle East and Saudi Peninsula?

While it may not be exactly scientific, when they switched from unleaded to E10 ethanol, I lost 4-6 mpg. That means I'm having to burn more fuel to get the distance I was going before. That may not seem like much but it makes all the difference between making it safely to my next destination or running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.

A much better alternative to ethanol is the algae-derived fuel. It takes 1/7 the area needed to produce current petroleum based fuel, can use lands that are worthless, and the dried up end product can be used as animal feed.

As to BZF, remember, he knows what's best for the sport. That's why the grandstands are half-empty and the TV ratings show his "leadership" had driven away 25% of the race fans from the TV.

Zieke said...

Seems that NASCAR is taking a huge step backwards by mandating the ethanol. I thought they were in a "money saving mode". What is this going to cost teams that have to do all the engine work? I believe this is just another of NASCAR's baaaad decisions which are helping drive more and more fans away.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The American Ethanol Green Flag. Corporate naming rights finally over the top. Can you imaging how sick of saying that the broadcasters are going to be by the end of the first race? And how sick the fans are going to be of hearing it? "Coming off the Service Master Clean Caution, the Amp Energy Drink car leads the field as the American Ethanol Green Flag waves here at the Lowe's Motor Speedway". When is enough corporate naming enough? Aren't you all sick of it yet? I am. I can barely stand to watch a race broadcast without a dvr anymore, no wait scratch that, I CAN'T stand to watch a race broadcast without dvr anymore. Pretty soon I'm going to have to watch without sound as well. Or skip it entirely and just go to the local dirt track instead. Bye, Bye Na$car, it was a good run while it lasted.

Dave in Ohio

FlyinBryan said...

Look into the parking lot at a NASCAR event. Do you see the Toyota Prius everywhere? No. NASCAR fans do not care about any sort of "green" campaign. I'm shocked that no one has spouted off about "back in the day, we wouldn't let this hippie fuel into our cars!".

This is going to do nothing beneficial to the sport. The average fan doesn't care what kind of fuel is in the tank, they care about Dale Jr winning and Kyle Busch and/or Jimmie Johnson being put in the wall.

The more reminders people have about about a green movement in the most non-green sport imaginable, it's just going to turn more fans away.

Maybe BZF thinks the money brought in with ethanol will be enough to cover the loss of fans it will bring.

And I doubt anyone is going to buy the "America's Fuel" bull.

Anonymous said...

Let's use food for fuel! What could possibly go wrong?

Anonymous said...

@Dave in Ohio

You said it! Well, done! ...and in the background of your scenario I can hear Larry Mac bleating "double file restart, SHOOTOUT STYLE!!!!" which makes me want to Elvis my TV.

Anonymous said...

Another reason that NASCAR is something I will pay even less attention to. First all the "stock" cars look alike, next the sport is controlled by three mega-teams, now the global warming express politics of ethanol. Common sense has exited. Welcome to the world of NASCAR zombies.

Anonymous said...

"Get used to the term "American Ethanol green flag." That's right, NASCAR's green flag is now sponsored and will have the AE logo imprinted on it."

This is the garbage that turns me away from the sport and so many others. Every single thing at the track has a company logo on it. The television coverage is so poor since racing coverage has to be squeezed between advertising features.

We will get DW and Larry praising ethanol like it is the almighty Jimmie Johnson every week. Mike Joy will be stuck reading advertisements. Jeff Hammond will be standing by the Ethanol cut away car. Chris Meyers will have a new stand up routine.

NASCAR has all these partners rolling in, but continues to slash the purse money in the lower series. In addition to forcing the teams to change the car design and now the fuel.

While NASCAR caters to new sponsors and partners, I'm afraid they continue to forget the intersts of the teams and fans. Over the past decade I've seen many of them go away.

OSBORNK said...

Roland. You're incorrect that 99.9% of the fans come to the race with gasoline. 99.9% of the fans come to the track with E-10 ethanol. Pure gas is almost impossible to find. I have one station locally that has pure gas. My Impala gets 2 MPG better on pure gas on the interstate.

I don't think there will be a lot of problems using E-15 ethanol in race cars because they aren't run long enough for deterioration of rubber seals and other things.

Keith said...

E15 is a NASCAR wuss-out purely for perceived PR advantages (and probably cash as well). Go back to pure gasoline and leave the ethanol in the back seat for the 'shine run. Less racing and more fuel stops. Fun. Get any more PC and lose your core audience. It will certainly not attract elites who will never like stock car racing.They're more into Indy-alcohol cars if at all.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why NASCAR would think I will support something that I don't like. Our local gas stations only have ethanol to dispense and my gas milage has decreased 2-3 miles per gallon with the cost per gallon going UP! I am old style NASCAR, from the days of 'win on Sunday, buy on Monday', and I did. I had a 62 Chev (Bel Air 2 dr Hardtop) with 409 and later a 70 Plymouth with 426 Hemi! The race cars today are not available at a dealer. No interest in NASCAR any more.

Anonymous said...

You're going to quote noted authority Glenn Beck on this matter? Okay.

He's wrong, BTW, you get slightly more energy out of corn ethanol than you put in. But the added demand for corn creates social costs, ones mostly not seen in the US. There are plenty of good reasons to be against corn ethanol, but FUD isn't one of them.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 2:18PM,

Just trying to present some diverse points of view on the issues and I consider Mr. Beck to be...diverse.


saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Let me second Mule's post, i could not have said it better myself. NASCAR is doing things that are alienating fans and have alienated non fans. And guess what Brian, MANY NASCAR FANS AND FORMER FANS, INCLUDING MYSELF ARE TIRED OF IT. NASCAR will continue to do anything to alienate fans in favor of the dollar. NASCAR trying to control what the drivers say and ethanol fuel is another prime example of why fans are tuning out. Brian's father and grandfather never would sell out the fans for money and that is why NASCAR used to be popular, because they cared abiut the fans. Now the drivers and th whole sport is now PC and all vanilla.

Brian is continuing to drive NASCAR into the ground and until his amily impeaches him NASCAR will contine to die a painful death.

Donna DeBoer said...

It's disappointing that yet another NASCAR decision has added fuel to the contingent bashing & threatening to leave. Yes I'm disappointed in some decisions too, but me & mine still like the racing & aren't going anywhere.
If NASCAR had done any research & were actually interested in "green tech" they wouldn't have hooked up with ethanol, so that says to me right there this was strictly a gov't $$$ grab deal via the corn farms.
I expect TV will be asked to promote ethanol as part of the deal & shoving it down the audience's throat could get real nauseating.

Greta said...

I think the idea of using our food supply for fuel has to be part of the discussion. Joebob will not be happy when he finds out his beer can chicken costs more because the use of corn in fuel has caused prices to go up all down the food chain.

Brian France is all about making more billions for NASCAR, and that is his only motivation. Period.

Anonymous said...

FlyinBrian is right. Ethanol, whether corn or sugar cane, is a boondoggle made to pay off senators from the states where the crop is grown. If NASCAR were serious about wanting to save energy or go to alternative fuels, it would give free parking to those who drove hybrids to the races or ticket buyers who travelled together instead of hopping into multiple SUVs or RVs.

Ethanol is just another stalling tactic to avoid true gains from fuel economy. NASCAR can't alienate its true fan base which wants instant 0-60 acceleration and single occupancy SUVs on the highways.

The Brazilian ethanol industry is responsible for further slash and burn devastation of the rain forest as big agriculture claims vast portions of land to grow corn for ethanol.

The only truly environmentally correct manufacture of ethanol is from waste products such as corn by-products and wood scraps. Those would be otherwise wasted, composted, or burned to create steam to drive power generation turbines.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Willie Nelson runs his Tour Bus on USED French Fry Oil.

Sir Richard Branson flew his Jet on coconut bio-fuel.

Chevy had the Volt decades ago and then destroyed it.

We can do this. It will make a profit and help people.

We DID put men on the Moon. We send things to Mars.

Put up a Million Dollar Prize for alternate power and we WILL do it. It worked for the "private" spaceshuttle.

Anonymous said...

Dave in Ohio. Well said. and to Anonymous "Elvis the TV'. I'm stealing that one. I always called them "Elvis Shoot the tv moments". Yours is shorter :)

Well, it's nice (insert sarcasm) to see that our years of disenchantment & FEELING some media/NASCAR folks were maybe/possibly LISTENING to us was a pipedream.

Shame. I've no hope; NONE for this sport. It's so embarrassing I can not explain.

Just when I think a break in the sport might give me a kernel of interest to get back into it, this junk happens.

I type this from a friend's laptop as mine is in the hands of computer doctor (removing Rootkit agent that Malware or Combofix can no longer detect)

I used to have about a dozen bookmarks for NASCAR but realized as I back up important stuff, I NO LONGEr even read JAYSKI!!! just what I see on Twitter or maybe here.

It's just sad to realize that other of life's curve balls are of more significance, and that a sport I once LOVED as a most welcome distraction is simply . . . no longer a fun, enjoyable one.

It's run by so many jackwagons, I can no longer just cast disdain on BoZo France :(

Part of me is apathetic, part of me is sad. I will NOT be watching a giant show of PRODUCT PLACEMENT during the race, followed by a plethora of commercial breaks.

P.s. The genetically engineered corn today (which is about 95% of today's corn in this country) really isn't fit for man nor beast! But I remember a guy form South America on Wind Tunnel talking how the use of this fuel SKYROCKETED corn in his country & poor folks could no longer afford it.

Sophia in Midwest

Roland said...


E10 is only mandated in 10 states. Florida, Kansas, Louisana, Hawaii, Iowa, Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.

Only Florida, Iowa, and Kansas have Nascar races. I rest my case.

Vince said...

This is all about money or BZF and Nascar wouldn't be doing it.

I live in the midwest and Ethanol has "died on the vine" here. Nobody uses it. They spent a boatload of money to build a new ethanol refinery in my part of Michigan a few years ago. Lots of state and federal money. It never has produced a drop of ethanol. Now it's used for something else. By the time the refinery was finished the demand had gone away. I've never seen anybody pump ethanol at the gas station. 99.9% of the stations here don't even carry it anymore.

It's made from field corn, sure. And who eats field corn. I'll tell you who, hogs. Your price of pork will be going up because the ethanol industry competes with the hog farmers for that field corn.

Google ethanol and see more info on the subsidies that the feds and state governments pay to the farmers to grow the corn for ethanol. All coming out of the taxpayers pockets. By the way I believe those subsidies are up soon. Expect to hear more about this as congress tries to renew them.

If Nascar and BZF was really serious about reducing the carbon footprint, they'd immediately shorten all races by 100 miles.

It's all about money folks.

OSBORNK said...


Congress has mandated that a certain amount of corn likker has to be used in gas. It doesn't matter if it is state mandated or not, it is being put in almost every station in most states.

MozartFX said...

I can't find anything about this on the NASCAR website? Interesting?

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Vince, as always, very well said.

NASCAR and it's incompetent boss Brian France are vindictive people who will stop at nothing in the quest for more money. I'm not blaming all of NASCAR because not all people are at fault, they are just towing the company line, yick!!!!

Why change to ethanol, carbon fuel is just as natural as ethanol. Last time i checked, carbon is nicknamed "the building block of life". Ethanol is made from ground corn and there is just no demand for it. Why make lives more inconvinent, oh i forgot...Brian France only cares about money and being like other sports. Not caring about fans and competitors.

BZF is a sleazy dumb@$$ who is running NASCAR like a retarded tween on doobie

Anonymous said...

This is getting easiert to save the large amounts of cash I don't have but NASCAR wants. Time to go back to supporting my local track and let NASCAR go the way of IROC, USF1 and Indy/IRL. Poor choices, high prices and a lack of fun factor have driven me away.

The Mad Man said...

There's a reason why the FAA won't allow ethanol to be used as an aircraft fuel. It has to do with the water condensation problems and fuel lines freezing because of the water. Plus as it's more flammable than regular aircraft fuel, it creates a bigger danger to the public and aircraft occupants in the event of a mishap or crash.

So far, NASCAR doesn't seem to be addressing the flammability issues. Instead of dumping the catch can position, they should convert it to spraying water on the car in a manner similar to what IndyCar does.

Greta said...

The part that NASCAR is missing is the large number of motivated, long-term fans that are saying they aren't going to watch any longer. It's really a lot of people.

Nah, they'll just continue to say that the races are sold out even though we can see all the empty seats on the broadcast.

And ratings are down because of the economy. I'm still not sure how they come to that conclusion, since it doesn't cost all that much to watch a TV show once you have a teevee.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

What i want to know is why in the name of Jabe Thomas are they switching to ethanol fuel? Ethanol is in low demand.

Word veri was Grill, BZF is going to grill in the underworld.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how many pistons we get melted this season from lean burn.

djgunrunner said...

Whisky is made from Corn. People, cattle and poultry eat corn. When corn is made into gas it is wasted. The fertilizer is wasted. Meat, poultry and dairy products costs more. I keep track of my mileage, especially on trips. From Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, an up hill trip I lost power and mileage to the tune of about 18 percent. I have asked friends who check mileage and they also noticed the difference. Wheat prices have tripled due to the wheat farmers going to corn because of the higher prices. I have to feel sorry for Mr. France who would sell his name for whatever his 30 pieces of silver were. When you lose your name, you have lost. My little brother is an automotive engineer and was a factory rep prior to his retirement. If you think I don't like Ethanol you should hear him.

Bobby said...

I've seen a loss of 15-20% of fuel economy in my truck thanks to this "booze as fuel" mandate. It's not the same as open-wheel racing, which has used alcohol as straight fuel historically over the past 46 seasons because of the 1964 Indy 500 fires (stupid laws prohibit 100% ethanol racing fuel except in the Brazilian race).

Unfortunately, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (one of the first major energy policy edicts of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama (then as Senator) triumvirate, which passed by veto-proof supermajority effectively bypassing the President) has a mandate that the United States has a minimum number of gallons of ethanol as fuel that increases incrementally in the 15 years from passage of this absurd law, and the racing sanctioning bodies are quick to attempt to buy as much of the federally mandated fuel as possible. I wonder if the buying the federally mandated ethanol allows more places to sell ethanol-free fuel as racing organisations buy the allotted mandate meaning less mandated road ethanol for regular guys. 100% ethanol is accepted as racing alcohol (without gasoline in it) for Alcohol classes of racing as many midget and sprint car classes have "no gasoline allowed" written in their rule books. The same goes for Alcohol classes in drag racing.

I know of at least two independent gas stations around this area (Smith's and Swansea Oil Company) that sell ethanol-free gasoline within a 25-mile radius and I buy the fuel for my Honda GCV160-powered lawn equipment from those places.

The ethanol move reminds me of a recent Stossel special on Fox News and Fox Business regarding bad forms of government waste. This qualifies as such. It's wrong but unfortunately the feds are trying to push more ethanol in our tanks. After all, Harry Reid is still able to force this mandate on us.

compassion in canada said...

This is another manifestation of the "Ugly American", this time stealing food from people in the 3rd World in order to make more money. All world food prices, not just corn, rose from earlier US ethanol policies in gas. They will now go sky higher. Tens of millions of people will now die annually to support the profit of these lobbiests and industries in the USA. Why not just send US armies all over Africa and kill them directly? That's what those corn ethanol supporters are promoting here with starvation in the of new new profits.

FlyinBryan said...

^ all of these posts above are exactly what JD was talking about.

Why should we even be talking about politics, the global economic impact, congressional lobbyist, ect?

It's sad that instead of talking about racing, we have to get drug into these debates thanks to corporate greed at the highest level of NASCAR.