(Posted Thu. Oct 27th, 2016)

This past weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Talladega Superspeedway was more than just another race.  American Ethanol Sweepstakes winners were on hand to receive their ultimate NASCAR experience.  Alabama Soybean and Corn Association and Alabama Wheat and Feed Grains Producers educated fans at the Biofuels Mobile Education Center. On the track midway, American Ethanol driver Austin Dillon was on the bubble to advance to the final round of eight in the Chase, and the American Ethanol #3 Chevrolet was pinked out to promote breast cancer awareness.   


Pictured from left to right: Joe Lomenzo, fan sweepstakes winner Joey Lomenzo, Austin Dillon,
engine professional sweepstakes winner Allen Huggins and Tim Huggins.



The American Ethanol Sweepstakes began last May as a year-long promotion to mark NASCAR surpassing 10 million successful miles racing on fuel blended with American Ethanol E15. It concluded with the random selection of one lucky NASCAR fan and one engine industry professional from a pool of eager participants.


The “Engine Insiders Talk Shop” sweepstakes winner was Allen Huggins, and engine industry professional.  Huggins, a recent engine technician graduate from the NASCAR Universal Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, saw the classroom come alive on the track at Talladega. He “talked shop” with ECR’s Engine Technical Director, Dr. Andy Randolph, and networked with RCR team members on the finer points of a career in NASCAR. Dillon and Huggins even traded comments on each other’s beards.  


The winner of the “We’ve Got the Power” fan sweepstakes was Joey Lomenzo of Long Valley, New Jersey.  Lomenzo is an avid NASCAR fan who shares his knowledge and support of American Ethanol and ethanol-blended fuels on social media. Being up close and personal at “The Big One” in Talladega was a slice of NASCAR heaven for this enthusiastic fan.


Sweepstakes winners Joey Lomenzo and Allen Huggins present
Kevin Harvick with the American Ethanol Restart Award at Talladega Superspeedway.


Lomenzo and Huggins were treated to a host of NASCAR VIP experiences. They road in a pace car, and sat with Austin Dillon and his crew chief Slugger Labbe during driver instructions. They also presented the American Ethanol Restart Award to driver Kevin Harvick and viewed the race under the #3 team’s pit canopy. 


Alabama corn farmers and NASCAR fans discuss the benefits of E15.


Alabama corn farmers took advantage of Talladega’s fans to engage in conversations about the benefits higher ethanol-blended fuels offer consumers. In a market where ethanol education has been a challenge, farmers experienced eager fans wanting to learn more about E15’s contributions to cleaner air, engine performance and cost savings at the pump.


Ads developed for breast cancer awareness containing images and
messaging conveying the health benefits of using ethanol-blended fuel.


Dillon’s success this year in Sprint Cup racing has made fans sit up and take notice.  At Talladega, he took things up a notch sporting a pink color scheme for his fire suit and the American Ethanol #3 Chevy to join American Ethanol’s independent retailers in support of breast cancer awareness. For the remainder of the month, Independent fuel retailers such as Minnoco, Protec, Murphy USA and Sheetz have aligned with local charities such as the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society to conduct consumer promotions and events at the pump.


Although unsuccessful in his attempt to advance to the final round of eight in the Chase, American Ethanol #3 Chevrolet driver Austin Dillon made a gallant run at it. Dillon lost out to Denny Hamlin in a tiebreaker on the final green-white-checkered overtime finish. Although it wasn’t meant to be, Dillon promised that the #3 RCR Chevy team would “be on the gas the rest of the year” in his own chase to win his first Sprint Cup race.