DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2010) – In preparation for the 2011 season and as part of its long-term commitment to “going green,” the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced a major long-term partnership with American Ethanol led by ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy.

Growth Energy, a coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters including farmers and members of the ethanol supply chain, becomes an official partner of NASCAR, using the sport to bring its message of American ethanol to millions of race fans. American Ethanol will support drivers, teams and tracks with marketing, promotional activities, advertising and a season-long weekly contingency award in 2011.

NASCAR made the American Ethanol partnership announcement just weeks after announcing a switch in its major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States.

Financial terms of the six-year agreement were not disclosed.

“NASCAR and American Ethanol are ideal partners,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “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.

“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. 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.”

Led by Growth Energy, nearly 100 different entities – from individual ethanol plants to the National Corn Growers Association to biotech companies – are rallying around NASCAR to communicate their ethanol message.

“E15 is an enormous opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create U.S. jobs, and strengthen national energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “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.”

“NASCAR is leading by example and showing that American ethanol-blended fuel works in the most challenging engine environment,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, a network of 27 ethanol plants producing more than 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol annually. “When the race cars take the green flag at Daytona, the whole world will see we are developing our own domestic energy sources right here in America with jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

“Grain ethanol is at least 59 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline. Growth Energy has officially petitioned to increase the allowable blend of ethanol in transportation fuel for everyday American motorists from 10 percent to 15 percent, which would help create 136,000 new American jobs.” Broin said.

“The productivity of America’s farmers is unrivaled in the world and our ability to supply corn for food, livestock feed and fuel should be a source of national pride. This exciting new association with the NASCAR Nation will help to build that awareness,” said Bart Schott, National Corn Growers Association president of Kulm, North Dakota. “With precision farming, innovation, technology and hard work farmers can double our harvest in the years ahead. NASCAR is a high profile way to showcase ethanol which is one great use for this abundance.”

American Ethanol will participate in NASCAR’s Prize Money & Decal Program, also known as the contingency program, with the creation of the “American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award” in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, while also providing weekly prize money for eligible competitors in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series based on finishing position. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekly award will be given to the participating driver who records the fastest average speed on restarts and who finishes the race on the lead lap.

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ABOUT SUNOCO GREEN E15
Sunoco Green E15 will be blended at Sunoco’s fuel facility in Marcus Hook, Pa., which provides high-performance race fuel to NASCAR teams at no cost to them. The American-grown and American-made corn ethanol will come in part from Sunoco’s new ethanol plant in Fulton, N.Y. The new fuel will be pumped directly from tankers at the track, rather than from on-site underground storage tanks. NASCAR team engine builders have been testing the Sunoco Green E-15 for several months, and reports have been very positive. In fact, many have reported achieving more horsepower with Sunoco Green E-15.

ABOUT GROWTH ENERGY
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.
 

ABOUT NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport – with more of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S. than any other sport, and is the No. 2-rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport.

NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. Also part of NASCAR is GRAND-AM Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach (Fla.), NASCAR has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte (N.C.), Concord (N.C.), Conover (N.C.), Bentonville (Ark.), Mexico City, and Toronto.

 

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