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NASCAR..going green? With President Obama making the strong case this week for more fuel-efficient cars out of Detroit, and with the heads of all the car makers there at the White House, what's the take in the NASCAR garage on what this sport should be doing to be more green? NASCAR's John Darby, head of the Sprint Cup series, says it's nice to look at racing more fuel-efficient engines, or using more fuel-efficient fuels, and all that, but he says NASCAR's main point right now is this: "We have been, for the last five years, looking at green – at alternative fuels, at new engine designs. But we feel we can have a huge effect on being environmentally friendly by attacking the biggest group we deal with – our fan base and our competitors in the garage. For example, you have a choice when you rent a car, so rent a hybrid. Or put four people in a car; you don't need four cars. Those kinds of things.
Our great initiative right now is in the two new office buildings going up, the Hall of Fame here, and one in Daytona. Both of those are going to be green-certified. We are doing a lot of things internally. Do the race cars matter? Yes. And will some day they come into that loop, yes. But right now we can make more progress and be more effective, in the grand scheme of things, and we can make more progress by working on the big picture and the things around us first.….knowing that, yes, there will be a fuel that's 'right,' that there will be fuel-injection, a lot of changes. Unfortunately they take longer to work through than the simpler things." E-85? That's a highly touted mix of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent farm-based ethanol. "This is my personal opinion, that that's not the best plan," Darby says. "You don't want to make changes just to make changes. There are better fuels, more practical fuels. You can argue that the (corn-based) alcohol (fuel) program is at the expense of making fuel for cars over the food we eat. Now I don't necessarily support that. But there are better many opportunities for better fuels." Mikemulhern.net
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