NASCAR to switch to 15% ethanol next year

When NASCAR takes the green flag in 2011, race cars are expected to be fueled by E15 — a mixture of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.

Hendrick Motorsports is already testing the fuel and Roush Yates engines will start development with E15 in the next few weeks. According to RYE co-owner Doug Yates, the conversion is important to the sport.

"Change is scary, but it's exciting as well," Yates said. "We have to keep up with the changes in the world to stay relevant. We need to be moving ahead."

According to the ethanol.org website, ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane motor fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn.

While NASCAR switched to using unleaded fuel in its top three series in 2007, the IndyCar Series used methanol from 1965 to 2006 when it introduced an ethanol blend on the tour. The following season, IndyCar moved to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol.

Although fuel injection remains on the drawing board for 2011,Yates agrees with other engine gurus in the garage that the fuel issue must take priority.

"Fuel injection is in our future, but it wasn't as simple," Yates said. "It has to be fair for every manufacturer. Ethanol will be first because they want it in all three series. So it would have to work for carburetor as well as fuel injection." FOX Sports

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