State officials and an Indy Racing League team joined forces to promote the ethanol industry and tout the fuel’s higher profile in auto racing. The industry sonsors a car in the IndyCar Series and soon there will be ethanol in all the tanks on the series. The car made a stop this morning at the state capitol.
Paul Dana who was the driver of the car until suffering a broken back in a crash before the Indy 500 says in 2006 they’ll go to an ethanol blend and then in ’07 they’ll go to 100-percent ethanol. That means all cars in the Indy series, including the 33 in the Indy 500, will run on ethanol. Jimmy Kite has taken over and will drive the car in an upcoming race at the Kansas Speedway. Kite says they tested a car using ethanol two days before this year’s Indy 500 to show they could run a car on the fuel. He says the speeds averaged well over 200 miles an hour. Kite says his run at Indy with an ethanol was the first time a car was on the track using the fuel since 1927. He says ethanol burning as a distinct smell and everyone was trying to tell what the smell was, and he says they say it smells like burning cotton candy or carmel apples.
Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge says ethanol is a billion dollar industry in the state. Currently, there are 16 ethanol plants in Iowa and 11 more will be on-line soon. Judge says being a part of the racing industry will help spread the word about ethanol blends. She says when ethanol becomes the fueld of choice for the American consumer, it starts to break the dependence the country has on foreign oil.