NASCAR the Greenest Sport in America

Photo courtesy of Good Green Cars

NASCAR May Already Be the Greenest Sport in America and They Aren’t Done Yet

Written by Todd Jacobs

NASCAR has been working on becoming the greenest major sport in America for some time. They already have made major adjustments to make their race tracks environmentally friendly. How could NASCAR be the cleanest greenest sport? The project spear headed by Brian France, began last year with France’s yearly season opening address.

France outlines plan to take NASCAR green.

Last year in January, France outlined NASCAR’s intention to be more evironmentally friendly while at the same time saving the race teams millions of dollars. The main goal of NASCAR is to get all of it’s speedways to become environmentally friendly. More than one third of the speedways are already on the program. The plan is to get all NASCAR sanctioned speedways on board in the next couple of years.

In France’s statement he explained, “Last June I chaired an internal committee meeting with former vice president Al Gore. The event was held at Infineon Raceway. In that meeting, we discussed ideas for what we can do as an industry to be greener.”

France also explained he would assign a point person, “As a result, NASCAR has hired Mike Lynch as managing director for green innovation. Mike’s responsible for planning and executing a comprehensive industry-wide green initiative.”

“He comes to NASCAR with nearly 20 years of experience in strategic planning and working with major companies on “breakthrough technologies.” Mike is in the process of developing an industry-wide, multi-discipline strategic green Initiative to include all NASCAR departments, drivers, teams and tracks.”

First and most important declaration that is having an immediate impact is no testing.

NASCAR teams were told in 2009 there would be no testing allowed at any NASCAR sanctioned tracks. A pledge that has been carried over to 2010. This is intended to cut down all the miles logged, not only by the 18 wheel car haulers but the teams also flying from track to track to test. In theory it is a great idea, unfortunately NASCAR teams are skirting the issue by testing at non sanctioned tracks like Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina. So far this rule is benefiting powerhouse teams like Hendrick Racing and Roush/Fenway Racing.

NASCAR is recycling the oil and and used tires.

All oils and used tires are now recycled by the race teams. All oil used in any NASCAR event is reprocessed by Safety-Kleen as well as all used tires in every NASCAR race are loaded up and recycled by Goodyear.

All NASCAR facilities will soon have environmentally friendly trash cans.

All NASCAR facilities soon will include environmentally friendly trash cans located conveniently throughout the parking lots and inside the facility. More than half of the NASCAR sanctioned facilities already have these in place.

Infineon Raceway thinks out of the box with their plan to be greener.

Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, has by far on the most creative ideas to become a green example for the community. Since 2004 Infineon already has recycled 73 tons of materials and has been recognized by the State of California Department, Division of Recycling for its recycling efforts. They also recycle over 180,000 gallons of oil every year.

Infineon also employs animals to keep the grounds maintained and pesticide free. The NASCAR facility is home to over 3000 sheep that roam the grounds maintaining fire lanes and hillsides by feeding on them. Also to eliminate pesticides the facility has 15 boxes that house families of barn owls. The owls patrol the grounds and dive bomb rodents and gophers. One family of owls will feast on 30-40 rodents an evening.

NASCAR may not be the greenest sport in America yet but they are at least aware of their impact and taking measures to become the cleanest, greenest sport. On the horizon is the possibility of using vegetable oil instead diesel fuel for the 18 wheel transporters. Don’t look for any hybrid race cars in the near future though.


Content provided by Associated Content

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