series plans move to corn-based fuel next season

CONCORD, N.C. |
NASCAR will switch to E15 Ethanol
fuel beginning next year for all Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping
World Truck Series races.

The ethanol will be corn-based,
NASCAR chairman Brian France said
Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Domestic ethanol, for sure,” France said.

France and other officials said switching to the new fuel
shouldn’t impact mileage and has shown signs of providing more
power for drivers.

Robin Pemberton,
NASCAR’s vice president of
competition, said teams have been using ethanol in various tests,
including Goodyear tire tests this year.

The move completes a quick transition for
NASCAR in its fuel supply.
NASCAR went from leaded to unleaded
in 2007 .

France pledged more green initiatives would be unveiled, though
he didn’t specify what might come next.

“The companies that are doing business with us and our fans sort
of expect us to take good, smart steps do what we can as an
industry to protect the environment and be smarter about how we go
about our business,” France said.

nascar looks for ways to boost tv
ratings

With the TV ratings down about 25 percent for the first four
Chase races, France briefly addressed the issue Saturday.

Asked about the ratings decline, France said: “We’re working on
it. Racing is great and over time that takes care of things. We’d
like to have better ratings but we will over time.”

Asked what could be done and if it would make sense to show
commercials on the TV screen at the same time as the race (like the
IndyCar Series does), France said: “We’ll look at everything we can
do. Ultimately, the racing, which is phenomenal, will carry the
day.?That’s our product.”

Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said
NASCAR needs to move start times
back for some races. Instead of races starting at 1 p.m., Smith
said races should start at 2 p.m.

“You’ve got to look at competition on TV today and that’s one of
the things,” Smith said. “I’m not sure we’re down 25 (percent). I
have difficulty believing that, but here again, if you start a race
at 1 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, look at all the competition you
have . I’m not sure that 1 o’clock is doing our sport any
favor.

“If people want to tune in and watch football – and every game
seems to be about the same – if they want to, let them. Let’s say
by 2 o’clock they’re tired of it and then they’ll come over and
watch a real sport. Maybe that’s what we ought to be doing.”

reason to stick around

A few days after being selected for the
NASCAR Hall of Fame, David Pearson,
Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore and the family of Lee Petty
served as grand marshals for the race.

“One goal I set for myself was to live long enough to get in
it,”‘ Jarrett said. “I worked extremely hard on my health the last
several years for this purpose, well, I wanted to live for other
reasons, too, but certainly that was a big reason why I wanted to
be around for a while.”

up next

The series heads to Martinsville next where Denny Hamlin will
look to score his third consecutive victory there . Tickets can be
purchased at martinsvillespeedway.com.

– Dustin Long

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