NASCAR Debuts TV Ad Promoting Green Initiatives Such As Ethanol, Solar Power
GANG GREEN: NASCAR Managing Dir of Green Innovation Mike Lynch discussed the racing circuit’s eco-friendly initiatives in a Q&A with FORTUNE.com’s Kurt Wagner. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Q: In 2011 NASCAR started using gasoline made with 15% ethanol. It doesn't seem like you've noticed any negative impact in performance for the cars, is that correct?
Lynch: No, we haven’t. ... We were trying to figure out what blend level would we want to use and are we (even) going to introduce ethanol in the blend with Sunoco or not, our engine shops and the race teams noticed in the initial testing that the blended fuel was making more horsepower. And that's something that really has proved out.
Q: Do you envision moving to 100% ethanol at any time in the future?
Lynch: Sunoco's point of view from a race fuel formulation and optimization standpoint is they've told us they really like the 15% blend because it gives you that additional horsepower yet keeps the blend level at a point where -- and we've said this before -- where nothing needs to be different about the car. So we didn't need to change anything about the engine, about the car itself.
Q: What about solar power? Do you ever think that NASCAR could exist racing cars that are driven by solar?
Lynch: Is this something that we're actively analyzing? Is this something we're paying real professional attention to? The answer is absolutely yes. … We have -- like any other organization -- very long lead times of analysis and prudent consideration before we're going to pilot or introduce something, especially when you're talking about something in a core racing series (FORTUNE.com, 4/19).