American Ethanol and American farmers shared the stage with the drivers and racing teams over the weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as E15 powered the Brickyard 400 for the first time. This year the fuel with a 15 percent ethanol blend is on board every car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.

Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association, Darrin Ihnen, spent the weekend at IMS and told HAT ethanol and NASCAR have made a good combination.

"It's been very positive," he said. "You know NASCAR has a huge fan base of 80 million fans. They've got 100,000 average per week at a track, and so it's just a good opportunity to educate their fan base about ethanol. And sure this race is in the Midwest, but there are even a lot of Midwesterners who don’t know and don’t understand ethanol, and to tie in with NASCAR and reach outside the Corn Belt, and outside the Midwest, to reach the south and the east, it's just a huge opportunity."

Since NASCAR wanted to "green" their image, Ihnen (pictured) added, "What better way to do it than to use ethanol?"

Indiana Corn Marketing Council President Mike Shuter says Indiana corn farmers can be proud to be powering the NASCAR machines.

"Not only that but it's the fact that our producers here in the state have helped to make this come true through the checkoff and a few things we've been able to do," he told HAT. "It's helped to bring E15 into NASCAR and it's just a great feeling to see those people getting on board with E15. It's their way of working on a green environment so it all really fits together. Producers have had a great influence in being able to do this."

Shuter had a moment to remember on race day when he presented Jeff Gordon with the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award.

"That was a neat opportunity to be able to give Jeff that award and to have a minute with him just to talk."

That award is presented to the driver with the fastest average speed on restarts while finishing the previous race on the lead lap.

Paul Menard won Sunday's race at IMS, denying Jeff Gordon yet another Brickyard win.

source: hoosieragtoday

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