(Posted Fri. Feb 17th, 2012)

Feb. 17:  Trevor Bayne, the unlikely 2011 Daytona 500 winner, kicks off the 2012 NASCAR season today with the American Ethanol green flag in his hand. Bayne will drive his No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford over a section of the old Daytona Beach course to the track's former north turn. Following a news conference, Bayne will continue on to the speedway, where he'll present the American Ethanol green flag to symbolically open 2012 Speedweeks festivities.


The loudest, wildest and most unpredictable week in sports gets underway today with Bayne carrying a very visible reminder that NASCAR made the switch to a 15 percent ethanol blend in 2011 with the introduction of Sunoco Green E15 in every vehicle hitting the track in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide races, and Camping World Truck series.


“Thanks to the strong support of our state corn checkoff programs, the National Corn Growers Association is a proud partner with NASCAR in conjunction with Growth Energy and American Ethanol,” said Martin Barbre, NCGA Corn Board member and chairman of NCGA’s NASCAR Advisory Committee. “Now, American Ethanol is on the green flag that starts every NASCAR race – and in the fuel tank of every vehicle that makes it to the winner’s victory lane. This sends a strong message to all drivers that ethanol is a great high-performance fuel.”


American Ethanol will be working with NASCAR drivers with Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing car and Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. 09 RAB Racing car in the Nationwide racing series in 2012. Each driver will also feature an American Ethanol paint out on their cars in a Sprint Cup race this season, starting with Wallace making a bid to return to the Daytona 500.


NASCAR and American Ethanol fans are encouraged to watch the Daytona Shootout at 8:10 EST tomorrow on FOX and the Duels at 2 p.m. EST Thursday. It’s a can’t-miss doubleheader that’s sure to get you ready for the 54th running of “The Great American Race” at Daytona at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, on FOX. You can also tune in the day before, at 1:15 p.m. EST on ESPN, to watch the Nationwide Series race, where Dillon and Wallace will be promoting Amerian Ethanol and the Family Farmer.  


Ethanol is the most commercially viable alternative that America currently has to offset the impact of foreign oil. And by strengthening America’s energy independence, ethanol helps create American jobs: Studies have shown that for every $1 sent overseas for oil, $1.55 leaves the U.S. economy.


Representing a wide array of ethanol supporters, from farmers to bio-engineering firms, American Ethanol was established by Growth Energy in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association. By establishing a marketing partnership with NASCAR starting with the 2011 racing season, the same year that NASCAR switched its fuel to Sunoco Green E15, American Ethanol aims to educate and inform the broader American public about the benefits of U.S.-made ethanol.