PORTLAND, Ind. — Biofuels are used in more than just
everyday cars and trucks. NASCAR driver Austin Dillon stopped at POET
Biorefining in Portland to talk about ethanol use in his car, one of the fastest
on the road.
As part of his American Ethanol Heartland Tour, Dillon
visited the biorefinery, signed autographs and answered questions about his
racing career and ethanol use in NASCAR vehicles.
“Ethanol got linked with NASCAR a couple years back,” he
explained. “Actually, this past year we’re over 400 million miles on
ethanol-grade fuel, so it’s pretty impressive for NASCAR to switch over and make
a big change in going to greener sport. We’re one of the first sports to kind of
take that green initiative and use it.”
Dillon said he has seen impressive results while driving
with ethanol fuel.
“The greatest thing about ethanol, for us, is actually we
can create horsepower with it,” he said. “We’re all about speed — we’ve actually
seen gains in horsepower, in speed, in being able to run longer on a fuel
One example of this happened at the Nationwide Insurance
Dash 4 Cash, a race that Dillon recently won in New Hampshire.
“We went eight laps extra on fuel than we weren’t expecting
to,” he said.
He credits the extra performance to the biofuel.
Dillon also promoted American ethanol by driving a flex fuel
Chevy Tahoe on his tour of the Heartland. POET was just one stop on the way to
Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, where he competed in a dirt race. “We’re just
kind of taking a road trip,” he said.
“There’s a partnership with American Ethanol and NASCAR,”
added Matt Tomano, general manager at POET in Portland. “They started running
Sunoco Green E-15, and there’s a sponsorship on the car the Austin Dillon
“As part of that, as part of promoting American ethanol, he
actually made a decision to rent flex-fuel vehicles and drive from one race to
another, so that he can also use the same E15 and all the way up to E85 that’s
being used by NASCAR.”
POET was approached by Dillon, who wanted to visit the
refinery as part of the Heartland tour.
“He actually called us and said, ‘Hey, I’m going from
Chicago to Eldora. I’m going by Portland. Would you guys mind if I stopped in?’”
Tomano said. “It worked out great. We said, ‘We’d love to have you!’”
Those interested in following Dillon on his journey can
follow his Twitter account, @AustinDillon3.