LAS VEGAS -- NASCAR, America's most-watched motor sport, and Growth Energy, the country's leading voice for the U.S. ethanol industry, announced last week they have formed a historic new partnership that will help acquaint tens of millions of Americans with the significant environmental, economic and national security benefits of domestic ethanol.
POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale is one of the members of Growth Energy. General Manager Dave Brooks said the new partnership will bring ethanol into the homes of the millions of NASCAR fans who watch races on television.
"This is a historic opportunity for our industry," Brooks said. "Through this partnership with NASCAR, we can tell America about the many benefits of domestic ethanol. It is made right here in America, it creates U.S. jobs and it reduces our dependence on foreign oil."
This new partnership, announced by NASCAR CEO Brian France, comes just weeks after NASCAR publicly stated that it would be taking its environmental commitment to the next level by fueling its races with Sunoco Green E15 -- a fuel that includes 15 percent renewable American ethanol, which is produced from corn grown by American farmers and processed at ethanol plants across the United States.
Ethanol partners from around the country gathered at 15 separate Growth Energy-organized American Ethanol Watch Parties in cities such as Des Moines, Indianapolis, Wichita, Columbus, Denver, Sacramento, Lincoln, Neb., and Lansing, Mich. to celebrate this historic partnership.
"Today, America's sport and America's fuel have kicked-off one of the most exciting partnerships in the history of NASCAR," said NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace. "This is a great moment for our sport and a great moment for the hard-working men and women across the country who help make and produce this great fuel."
"There is nothing more American than NASCAR, and there is no fuel more American than ethanol. This is a perfect partnership," said Tom Buis, CEO of 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."
The official partnership to NASCAR is being made through a newly-formed organization, American Ethanol, created by Growth Energy with the support of the National Corn Growers Association and other key U.S. farming and ethanol leaders.
As an Official NASCAR Partner, American Ethanol will become an integrated industry player with activation to include exciting firsts for the sport:
* Starting with Daytona in 2011, NASCAR's Green Flag will be branded to feature both American Ethanol and NASCAR Green; symbolizing NASCAR's continued efforts toward environmental responsibility.
* The driver with the fastest average speed on restarts per race will be presented with the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award.
* American Ethanol branding on the Fuel Port of every car in each NASCAR national series Presenting sponsorship of the NASCAR Green Summit .
"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."
POET Biorefining -- Cloverdale will consume 32 million bushels of locally-grown corn to produce 90 million gallons of ethanol and 256 thousand tons of livestock feed per year. "We are so pleased that this American fuel we produce right here in Cloverdale from homegrown corn is showcasing the environmental and high-performance qualities of ethanol on the national stage of NASCAR to so many American consumers," said Brooks.