Richard Childress
Richard Childress
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The partnership between NASCAR and American Ethanol reached a milestone of 6 million miles of racing on E15 during this year’s Brickyard 400.

The use of E15 has been great, said Richard Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, during a press conference July 25. With testing E15 and reaching 6 million miles of racing on the fuel, Childress said, they know they can run all the way up to E30.

“It’s going to be positive for NASCAR. It’s going to be positive for the country and the consumer, as well,” he said.

The racing circuit wanted to demonstrate the benefits of a fuel that could also be used in cars driven daily. The Sunoco Green E15 fuel that has been used since 2011 is a blended fuel that has been tested by the U.S. Department of Energy in addition to the 6 million miles of NASCAR racing.

Representatives with American Ethanol, Growth Energy, Indiana Corn Growers and others hope consumers begin to see the benefits of using ethanol. Hitting the milestone is the perfect opportunity to do just that, said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

The fuel is not only cleaner and better for the environment, but it creates jobs and reduces dependence on foreign oil. The partnership also is important because NASCAR validates what a great performance fuel is, Buis said.

“These guys wouldn’t be racing with it if it wasn’t — if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you,” he said.

Ken Parrent, biofuels director for the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, spoke of the partnership between NASCAR and American Ethanol and how it creates a huge demand for Indiana corn.

“Corn farmers recognized the value of the ethanol industry as it increases the demand for Indiana corn and impacts the economy,” he said.

The ethanol industry is growing in Indiana as the state is the sixth-largest producer in the country. There are 12 ethanol plants operating that, when combined, can produce 1 billion gallons of ethanol each year.