Going… Going… Green
A blog about sports and the environment.

NASCAR… Clean It Up

NASCAR’s switch to unleaded fuel is now a year old. NASCAR has an exemption from the Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1970, which required when all automobiles to switch to unleaded fuel.  NASCAR finally got onboard with that for the start of the 2008 racing season.Courtesy of Flickr.com

It took NASCAR 38 years to finally switch to the same type of fuel that everyone else uses. It begs the question: Why did it take so long? It’s known NASCAR is trying some environmental measures with the introduction of the hybrid pace car, but what about the fuel to the cars? NASCAR pays over $6-per gallon for fuel, so what would happen if NASCAR became an innovator and used biodegradable fuel.Courtesy of Flickr.com

It could be a trendsetter in the new “green” movement. NASCAR would be praised for an attempt to one-up the IndyCar Series, which uses 10 percent ethanol in its fuel. But how much would it cost for NASCAR to switch? That has to be the biggest issue, as NASCAR has sponsorships with fuel companies that bring in so much money it makes a fuel switch of that extreme unlikely.

But if NASCAR was able to use biodegradable fuel and it worked effectively maybe it could spark serious change in how we use fuel.  It took nearly 40 years for NASCAR to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of using unleaded fuel.  Even the government has approached NASCAR about taking more dramatic measures.

It’s great that NASCAR used a hybrid pace car, but that is like being the only person in a steakhouse to order a salad. Basically it’s a nice gesture and nothing more, unless it sets the standard for something innovative.  In an era when people are trying to adapt with solar and reusable energy, why can’t a significant change come from a major sport? NASCAR has made an attempt to clean things up, but a switch to biodegradable would push the standards of car racing instead of the state they’re in with just one hybrid car in a pack of high powered gas-guzzling machines.Courtesy of Flickr.com

With the dedicated fan base it has, NASCAR could make a real impact. A switch to biodegradable fuel would be a major step in how we use fuel in this country and not just in one of our major sports. 


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