INDY RACE: E-85 Switch Improves Fuel Efficiency
All but one car began Saturday’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, but only 15 drivers crossed the finish line due to a combination of crashes and mechanical problems. Number 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race with an average speed of 129 mph.
Number 10 Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 on May 27th, didn’t even begin the race; his engine failed before the green flag. Last year’s winner, #26 Marco Andretti, finished 2nd and #11 Tony Kanaan came in 3rd.
This year marked the 6th Iowa Corn Indy 250 at the Iowa Speedway and a switch to E-85 from E-100. However the race’s purpose hasn’t changed in six years.
“It’s all about ethanol,” said Craig Floss, CEO of Iowa Corn Opportunities, Iowa Corn Growers Association, and Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “It’s all about making the consumers understand more about what it is (that) our corn farmers here in Iowa do.”
Bob Bowman, Board Liaison for Trade and Biotech Team with the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board, said ”We’ve contacted people way outside the United States and a majority of the people in the United States, and we think it’s been an effective campaign for us to get our message – the message of the farmers, the message of what we do, and the important of renewable fuels – to the customers, our consumers.”
The race’s focus has been promoting ethanol since its inception. Bowman said racing is a natural vehicle to get that message across. “A lot of us [farmers] are gearheads, you know? It’s a natural thing for us to do, and we’re lucky to have this race facility in the state of Iowa – it gives us that opportunity.”
Bowman added that, “for the Iowa Corn Growers’ Association membership base, this has become an annual gathering spot for us, so it truly is a place where everybody looks forward to coming. It’s been a membership event, it’s been a consumer event; it’s really helped the organization gain a tremendous amount of visibility,”