Over the 4th of July holiday, American Ethanol was honored to host a group of military veterans employed at Growth Energy member companies at the Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Our military veterans and their families were treated to a behind the scenes experience where they had the opportunity to tour the Richard Childress Racing facilities at the track and meet with its owner and founder Richard Childress and number three driver Austin Dillon.

Before the race, veteran Josh Willis gave the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award to Kevin Harvick. The American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award goes to the eligible driver who records the fastest average speed on restarts and finishes the race on the lead lap. At the end of each Monster Energy Cup Series season, a final grand prize restart award and check is given to the driver who earned the most awards during the season.

The race, which took place on Independence Day weekend, marked the culmination of the NASCAR Salutes portion of the 2019 racing season. The American biofuels industry employs more veterans than any other energy sector — with over 23% of its workforce comprised of U.S. Armed Forces veterans. NASCAR Salutes is a chance for us to honor and pay respects the men and women of our armed forces.

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Our yearly leadership conference isn't the only reason to join Growth Energy (though it is in Miami — in February). If you're connected to the ethanol industry, read on here to learn more about the benefits of joining and get in touch with us. https://t.co/jjjXfwROEM

via @GrowthEnergy

We've gotten a lot of outreach from @USDA on how to make their new biofuel infrastructure inventive plan a success, and we're more than happy to help. This program can and should benefit everyone — farmers, biofuel producers, and consumers at the pump. https://t.co/WlawnszsdR

via @GrowthEnergy

Ray was the founding member of Big River Resources and a longtime Growth Energy Board member. We are all better off for knowing him and our community will feel this loss deeply. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and staff on this difficult day. You will be missed, Ray.

via @EmilySkor

To those of us within it, the ethanol industry often feels like a big family. Today that entire family mourns the loss of one of our own, Ray Defenbaugh. We will always remember his relentless spirit — his honesty, optimism, humor, and especially his fierce, fierce loyalty.

via @EmilySkor