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NASCAR Official Fuel / Injection / Sunoco News

  • Sunoco could be sold: Energy Transfer Equity LP, the U.S. pipeline company that agreed to acquire Williams Companies Inc, has held talks to sell gas station and convenience store operator Sunoco LP, according to three people familiar with the matter. While these discussions were preliminary, they underscore Energy Transfer's efforts to bolster its balance sheet after a plunge in oil prices made its pending acquisition of Williams more financially burdensome than it previously envisioned. Energy Transfer held conversations to sell Sunoco earlier this year after it was approached by at least one interested company, the sources said this week, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were confidential. Energy Transfer and Sunoco did not respond to requests for comment. The potential sale would have involved Energy Transfer's ownership of the general partnership of Sunoco, which could be valued at more than $2 billion, the people said. Sunoco operates about 900 convenience stores and fuel outlets in eight U.S. states, offering merchandise, food service and motor fuel. It also distributed about 7.6 billion gallons of motor fuel across the United States in 2015. Logical buyers for Sunoco's gas station network could include Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc, Valero Energy Corp or Tesoro Corp, sources said.(Reuters)(3-14-2016)

  • Sunoco Earns NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Sunoco, the Official Fuel of NASCAR, will be honored Thursday with the 2015 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. Since 2004, the iconic red and blue Sunoco can has been a fixture at the track each weekend, fueling the most competitive racing in the world. The best drivers in the world rely on Sunoco race fuel to get the most out of their cars, win races, and ultimately, championships. Off the track, Sunoco utilized an integrated marketing approach to engage fans, customers and employees through promotions, B2B, digital, broadcast, event marketing and social media. This year, Sunoco debuted its national campaign "Burnt Rubbér" featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson in dramatic television creative. The campaign aired both during and outside motorsports programming, featured digital and social extensions, and was supported with earned media and at-track activations. The creative approach garnered more than 255 million impressions and nearly nine million engagements since its launch in May.(12-3-2015)

  • Energy Transfer Partners to merge with Sunoco: UPDATE: Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Sunoco, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby ETP will acquire Sunoco in a unit and cash transaction valued at $50.13 per share, or a total consideration of approximately $5.3 billion, based on ETP's closing price on April 27, 2012. This combination will create one of the largest and most diversified energy partnerships in the country by expanding ETP's geographic footprint and strengthening its presence in the transportation, terminalling and logistics of crude oil, NGLs and refined products. By acquiring Sunoco, ETP will also own Sunoco's general partner interest and the incentive distribution rights (IDRs) in Sunoco Logistics Partners, as well as Sunoco's 32.4 percent interest in Sunoco Logistics Partners' limited partner units and Sunoco's branded retail business, which generates additional stable cash flows from a portfolio of approximately 4,900 retail locations in the U.S. Sunoco's logistics and retail businesses will continue to maintain headquarters in the Philadelphia area consistent with their current operating presence. In addition, under the merger agreement, Sunoco will continue its plans for exiting its refining business as previously announced, as well as continue its plans for the proposed refinery joint venture being discussed by Sunoco and The Carlyle Group. The transaction has been approved by each company's board of directors and is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2012, subject to approval of Sunoco shareholders and customary regulatory approvals.(in part from a pdf PR at sunocoinc.com), no word on how or if this will affect the sponsorship of NASCAR and use of Sunoco Racing Fuel in NASCAR.(4-30-2012)

    UPDATE: Bob Owens, Sr. VP of Marketing for Sunoco, has published a letter to distributors indicating: "This corporate ownership change should be transparent and seamless. The iconic Sunoco brand, and our support of NASCAR will continue, as we strive to 'keep people moving'."(5-1-2012)

  • NASCAR still a few weeks away from releasing EFI data: Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that officials remain a few weeks from releasing EFI data and determining exactly what data will be released. But Darby was skeptical that the information, regardless of what is released, will help one driver improve on restarts. "It's not about what a guy is doing with his throttle on a restart," Darby said. "It's more about how the fuel maps and the original run tables that were set up for the race. The purpose of it is to help educate the entire garage on what's good for fuel strategies and what's not. It's not about pinpointing every time someone stepped on the brake. Or when somebody had their foot to the floor. They can get that off the TV telemetry now." Darby said the data collection should be completed in a few weeks, giving teams a sample of a restrictor plate race, two short tracks and a couple of mile-and-a-half tracks. "Once we get the tables like we want them, we'd be able to send every race,'' Darby said. "Typically, we download everything sitting on pit road after the race."

    Darby acknowledged there have been minor issues with EFI through the first three races, but nothing to set off alarms. He said Brad Keselowski's issue at Las Vegas was a failed fuel pump. "We've got out of the habit of blanketing fuel injection, because it's almost as bad as saying did he have a problem with his race car," Darby said. "He had a fuel pump fail. Well, we had fuel pumps today and fuel pumps with carburetors. I'm a little defensive probably because everything wants to fall in the lap of fuel injection, where 99 percent of the problems that we've had up to this point in the year have nothing to do with fuel injection."(ESPN)(3-17-2012)

  • Some Fuel Injection Notes from Terry Blount: Day 1 of the annual NASCAR media tour started with a handout from Roush Yates Engines explaining some of the key aspects of this year's switch to electronic fuel injection. Roush Yates listed 10 aspects of the switch that fans need to know, with short explanations about each. Here are a few from the list:

    • No. 1 on the list is relevance. Today, cars do not have carburetors (they haven't for decades) and finally, NASCAR doesn't either with the switch to EFI. So the switch makes the cars more like your car -- you know, a stock car, which is what it's supposed to be.

    • Point No. 2: You won't notice a thing. The sound of the engines will be the same. If someone didn't tell you about the change, you wouldn't know it.

    • Point 3: Efficiency. McLaren, which manufacturers the EFI system NASCAR is using, hasn't had an on-track failure in any racing series that uses its system. Engine longevity is expected to increase because of added control of fuel and spark. And the engine builders can push the limits on performance because of more detailed access to computer data on engine wear.

    • Point 4: Control. NASCAR has always feared increased technology in the cars because of concerns that it might be difficult to police. However, NASCAR officials maintain they can monitor EFI with computer data from the new ECU (engine control unit), which officials can plug into and spot-check at any time.

    • Point 5: It's greener. The Roush Yates tutorial card says EFI reduces fuel waste, allowing engines to run more efficiently and cleaner, and it produces less carbon monoxide emissions.

    All good things, but for those of you wondering, and I know most of you are, it won't eliminate fuel mileage races.(ESPN)(1-24-2012)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. to take part in Daytona EFI test: NASCAR has scheduled a special test for Nov. 15 at Daytona International Speedway to find ways to eliminate the two-car drafting that has become prevalent at restrictor-plate tracks. Six to eight teams will be in attendance and NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the teams will work on a variety of combinations of restrictor plates and spoilers to give teams a good baseline package to bring back for the preseason test in January. Among the drivers participating will be #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and one other driver from Hendrick Motorsports. "Apparently, they put this test together last minute for a reason," Earnhardt said on Tuesday from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We'll go down there and they'll let us know exactly what they're wanting to do, what they're trying to accomplish, what they're trying to try. I want to be able to give them the best feedback I can to give them the solutions they're looking for so that we can, with confidence, go into Daytona in February and expect to put together a great show for the fans that will be there and that will be watching on TV." Earnhardt expects much of the emphasis to be on running with a smaller spoiler, which several drivers said made the two-car draft more difficult during a recent fuel injection test at Talladega Superspeedway.(ESPN)(11-9-2011)

  • NASCAR schedules fuel injection test at Daytona: NASCAR has scheduled an electronic fuel injection test at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to better prepare baseline packages for the January 12-14, 2012 Preseason Thunder testing at DIS. The test will be conducted on Tuesday, November 15 from 10:00am-5:00pm/et. Teams participating will be determined and released next week.(NASCAR)

    AND: NASCAR has been looking for ways to break up the two-car tandem drafts that have become the norm at Daytona and Talladega, where the series requires the use of restrictor plates to limit speeds. Using a different restrictor plate, a smaller spoiler and a different cooling system are among the options being considered by NASCAR.(Scene Daily)(11-2-2011)

  • Fuel Injection test Monday at Martinsville: UPDATES: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will test Electronic Fuel Injection at Martinsville Speedway as research and development continues leading up to the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2012 season. Cars will be on track Monday, October 31 from 10am - 4 pm/et. Currently nine teams have entered for the test. Those include teams from Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Furniture Row Racing, NEMCO Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing (2).(NASCAR), been told the test will open to the public, no other details.(10-27-2011)

    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is scheduled to have Denny Hamlin drive. Aric Almirola will drive for Hendrick Motorsports. Regan Smith will be in the Furniture Row Racing car. Kurt Busch will drive the Penske Racing car in the morning session and Sam Hornish will drive it in the afternoon. Jamie McMurray will drive the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing car. Also, AJ Allmendinger is scheduled to be in the Roush Fenway Racing car, Mike Skinner will drive for Michael Waltrip Racing, Joe Nemechek will be in the NEMCO Motorsports car, with Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman both driving for Stewart-Haas Racing.(Virginian-Pilot)(10-31-2011)

    UPDATE 2: For the third time this month, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams tested Electronic Fuel Injection on track, as 10 cars churned out laps around the .526-mile paper clip layout at Martinsville Speedway Monday. Teams from Roush Fenway Racing, Penske Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, NEMCO Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and two teams from Stewart-Hass Racing participated in Monday's session. This marked the third EFI test for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this month. Previously, teams had tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Plans call for the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2012 season. John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director, said today's test "was just one more step in the planning process for EFI." "Since the time we first began testing EFI in July in Kentucky, I think the teams have been able to work through just about all the configurations of race tracks and the different extremes of weather that they will see in 2012," said Darby. "At Kentucky it was brutally hot and the teams were faced with the extreme heat and this morning it was 30 degrees here at Martinsville, so they've been able to test this system under a variety of conditions."(NASCAR)(10-31-2011)

  • Electronic Fuel Injection Test at Talladega: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will test Electronic Fuel Injection at Talladega Superspeedway as research and development continues leading up to the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2012 season. Testing is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20. Teams will be on track from 10 am - 4 pm/ct. Ten teams have entered for the test [as of Wed, Oct 19th]. Those include teams from Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing (2), Richard Childress Racing (2), Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing.(NASCAR)(10-20-2011)

  • Teams test electronic fuel injection At Charlotte: Teams representing 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars turned upwards of 400 miles Monday during a test of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both NASCAR officials and drivers were optimistic about the continued development of the system. Plans call for the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2012 season. Four Hendrick Motorsports teams, two Stewart-Haas Racing teams, one team from Richard Childress Racing, one team from Michael Waltrip Racing, one Earnhardt-Ganassi team, a team from Joe Gibbs Racing and one team from Roush-Fenway Racing participated in Monday's test session. The #6 Roush Fenway Ford, driven by Trevor Bayne, turned in the day's fastest lap with a speed of 189.793 mph. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also tested the #6 Ford on Monday. Another NASCAR EFI test is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway. The test is set to run from 10 am - 4 pm/ct.(NASCAR)(10-18-2011)

  • Roush Yates Engines and Freescale Semiconductor partner on technology: Roush Yates Engines and Freescale Semiconductor announced a new partnership grounded in a shared vision for the expanding role of technology in motorsports. This partnership brings together two industry leaders in automotive and motorsports. Freescale, as one of the world's largest providers of automotive electronics, provides the processing power behind NASCAR's 2012 Sprint Cup Series switch to fuel injection and is the Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR. Roush Yates is recognized as one of the premier engine manufacturers, and both of these companies have a long history in automotive and motorsports innovation. Together, Roush Yates and Freescale look to discover new ways in which technology can be used to improve the team, driver and fan experience within NASCAR and other racing series.(Roush Yates)(10-18-2011)

  • NASCAR planning three Fuel Injection tests: UPDATES: NASCAR has three Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) tests scheduled this month for the Sprint Cup Series: Oct. 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 31 at Martinsville Speedway. The tests are part of the continued development of the EFI Research and Development for the teams. Electronic Fuel Injection will be fully implemented in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning at Daytona International Speedway in February 2012.(NASCAR)(10-12-2011)

    UPDATE: As of Thursday, 12 teams have entered for the Charlotte test on Monday. Those include teams from Hendrick Motorsports (4), Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, NEMCO Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing (2) and Richard Childress Racing. Teams will be on track from 9am - 3pm/et.(NASCAR)(10-13-2011)

    UPDATE: Twelve NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will participate in an Electronic Fuel Injection test Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The test will be free and open to the public. Gates will be open for the duration of the test, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fans should enter through gate 5A and watch from the frontstretch grandstands.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(10-17-2011)

  • Testing at Kentucky - Session 2: the scheduled two-hour second session of testing/practice is over for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:

    #18-Busch 178.849

    #22-Busch 177.936

    #99-Edwards 177.930

    #27-Menard 177.912

    #39-Newman 177.830

    slowest: #7-Wimmer 170.794 & #32-Bliss 171.789

    no speed listed: #81-Riggs, #34-Gilliland

    fastest 10 lap average

    #31-Burton 174.388

    #27-Menard 173.995

    #24-Gordon 173.992

    Five Cars are testing fuel injection and assigned special numbers:

    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford, 176.171

    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 175.256

    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota, 174.537

    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy, 173.433

    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy, 170.138

    Note: teams can change engines after Thursday's testing is over with no penalty, cars were not inspected, qualifying order will NOT be set by Thursday's testing speeds.

    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on the Kentucky Practice Speeds Page.(7-7-2011)

  • Testing at Kentucky - Session 1: the scheduled four-hour first session of testing/practice is over for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, after 240 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:

    #48-Johnson 175.879 mph

    #27-Menard 175.593

    #38-Kvapil 175.296

    #18-Busch 175.171

    #16-Biffle 175.165

    slowest: #81-Riggs 169.279 & #7-Gordon/Wimmer 170.600

    no speed listed: #77-Gordon, #34-Gilliland

    Robby Gordon is entered in the #77 and Scott Wimmer is in the #7

    Five Cars are testing fuel injection and assigned special numbers:

    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford, 174.340

    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota, 173.717

    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy, 173.210

    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 173.071.

    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy, 172.227

    Note: teams can change engines after Thursday's testing is over with no penalty, cars were not inspected, qualifying order will NOT be set by Thursday's testing speeds.

    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on the Kentucky Practice Speeds Page.(7-7-2011)

  • Special test sessions at Kentucky: In preparation for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Kentucky Speedway this weekend, there will be two test sessions for teams on Thursday. In addition to team testing for the event weekend, NASCAR is taking advantage of this test to offer the opportunity for teams that are prepared to test fuel injected cars to do so. NASCAR expects five fuel injection cars to participate, all from various organizations, and all four manufacturers should be represented (NASCAR).

    AND NASCAR Sprint Cup engine builders will get a good look at how the new fuel-injection systems work with their engines when teams get to spend Thursday at Kentucky Speedway with cars outfitted with the new units. During the nearly of six hours of open Cup testing at the track, teams can only test one car - but can have a second car outfitted with fuel injection. NASCAR plans to begin using fuel injection with the 2012 Daytona 500. McLaren Electronic Systems and Freescale Semiconductor produce the engine control units, and teams buy the system directly from McLaren. Five engine builders will have cars on the track testing the new system - Hendrick Motorsports (with Aric Almirola driving), Roush Yates Engines/Roush Fenway Racing (Ricky Stenhouse NOT Greg Biffle/Matt Kenseth), Earnhardt Childress Racing/Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon), Toyota Racing Development/Michael Waltrip Racing (Mike Skinner) and Penske Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.) will participate. Many teams have tested the systems at other tracks, but this will be the first open test at a track where the teams actually race. NASCAR plans to have more tests throughout the year, and it will have the Cup teams at Daytona next January for further testing.(in part from SceneDaily), no TV coverage is scheduled for the testing.

    Of note, NASCAR reports that it will still require the use of restrictor plates with fuel injection at Daytona & Talladega.

    Cars Testing are assigned special numbers:

    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford

    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy

    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy

    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota

    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge.(7-7-2011)

  • NASCAR to begin fuel injection tests: NASCAR will allow Sprint Cup teams to bring a second car to test fuel injection for the first time on July 7 at Kentucky Motor Speedway with plans to fully implement the new system at the 2012 Daytona 500. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said at least four organizations are ready to move forward with the Kentucky test. Teams will also be allowed to test fuel injection during an Oct. 4 and 5 test of the new asphalt at Phoenix. There could potentially be another fuel injection test the Monday after the fall race at Talladega.(ESPN)(5-13-2011)

  • NASCAR says teams can use fuel injection at some tests: NASCAR told Sprint Cup teams Saturday that they can use fuel injection at NASCAR-sanctioned tests this season. The Cup series will switch from carburetors, used since the series' inception in 1949, to fuel injection next year. NASCAR told teams that they'll be allowed to test fuel injection at Kentucky in July - where teams will be given an extra day of practice since this will be the first Cup race there - at Goodyear tire tests, and at a test later this year on Phoenix's repaved surface. John Darby, Sprint Cup series director, also said that he would like to have additional fuel injection tests for all teams at a restrictor-plate track and a 1.5-mile track. A possibility is for teams to test at Talladega the day after the Cup race there in October and to a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since most teams are located near that 1.5-mile track, sometime this fall. Another option would be for teams to test in Daytona in January. Two years ago, teams did not test at Daytona, as part of NASCAR's testing ban. Last year, teams tested at Daytona because it had a new track surface. Fuel injection could allow Cup teams to test at Daytona in January for the second year in a row.(Virginian-Pilot)(5-8-2011)

  • NASCAR getting ready to test fuel injectors: The first on-track test of fuel injection in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series could come as early as July 7 at Kentucky Speedway, provided NASCAR finalizes specifications for system hardware and software in time for teams to prepare. Because the Cup series will race at Kentucky for the first time on July 9, NASCAR has OK'd extra practice on Thursday, July 7. Cup teams are scheduled to spend four hours on the track that day, and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines chief engine builder Danny Lawrence hopes that will also provide the first test of fuel injection for the series. "Hopefully they'll know (about specifications) in a week or two, because there's getting to be a pretty big push for people to run at the Kentucky test," Lawrence told Sporting News on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. "They're going to have a test day before the race, and if they have everything spec'ed out by then, we'll try to run there-that'll be our first deal. I know they're working on it really hard, and hopefully, they'll have it figured out in a few days." NASCAR announced in February at Daytona International Speedway that McLaren and Freescale Semiconductor will partner in the development and manufacture of engine control units (ECUs) designed to manage fuel and ignition systems in Cup cars. Fuel injection will replace the carburetors that have been part of Cup engines since the series' inception in 1949, with the transition targeted for the 2012 season.(Sporting News)(4-5-2011)

  • NASCAR Looking at Fueling Heads?: There was some talk in the garage this weekend that NASCAR may begin taking a closer look into the fueling systems used by the Cup Series teams. As you've heard repeatedly all season, the teams are using a new style self-vented fueling system this season with the elimination of the catch can man. NASCAR's rules for the new system, which was developed by Schultz Products, allow for some modifications to the components. And besides making changes to pit stop choreography, many teams have spent a lot of time trying to find ways to make fuel flow faster with the new equipment. It sounds now as if NASCAR wants to see what they've been able to accomplish.(NASCAR Insiders)(4-4-2011)

  • Fuel Injection to NASCAR in 2012: NASCAR is expected to announce Friday that the Sprint Cup Series will shift to fuel injection in time for the 2012 season-opening Daytona 500. It is expected that Britain's McLaren Electronic Systems will provide the controller through a partnership with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. out of Austin, Texas. Testing and development of the components will continue throughout the year.(FoxSports)(2-11-2011)

    UPDATE: NASCAR announced a historic technology partnership with Freescale Semiconductor and McLaren Electronic Systems to develop and integrate fuel injection systems into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, targeted for the 2012 season. Freescale will provide the processors for McLaren's engine control units (ECUs) that will be used to manage the fuel and ignition systems in the engines for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, replacing carburetors which have been used in the series since its inception in 1949. NASCAR and its top series teams will test the technology during the 2011 season with the anticipation of the systems being rolled out for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The fuel injection system will bring increased technology and efficiency to the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars while at the same time complementing the car's high performance. This announcement marks the most significant strategic change to NASCAR's engine platform in decades. As part of this program, Freescale is designated as the "Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR" and McLaren the "Official Engine Control Unit of NASCAR."

    For decades, most of the parts and equipment on NASCAR race cars have been highly customized for racing but at the same time relevant in standard automobiles. This move to fuel injection brings back an important synergy between these two vehicle types.
    ECUs maximize each racing team's ability to get the most performance and best fuel economy under all race conditions. With this announcement, plans call for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team to use a control system with Freescale's advanced 32-bit Power Architecture based engine management processors at its core, beginning in 2012. These same processors power millions of today's most energy efficient engines.

    The ECUs are tamper-proof, ensuring that only approved software may ever be run during a race weekend. Additionally, NASCAR will have special electronic tools at its disposal during every event to ensure the legality of all ECUs.(NASCAR)

    AND Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said during the news conference that Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series will not be going to the fuel injection system in 2012 and that NASCAR is working on a new engine package for both series (Nancy/Jayski)(2-11-2011)

  • National Corn Growers Association Becomes Official Partner Of NASCAR: As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists.(NASCAR)(2-4-2011)

  • Catch Can Gig Going away? UPDATE 4: At the start of the 2010 season, NASCAR introduced a new style fuel can for the Truck Series that eliminated the need for a catch can guy. Because of this new can, NASCAR limited the number of over-the-wall crew members in the Truck Series to six: two tire changers, two tire carriers, a jackman, and a fueler. Teams could still technically use a catch can guy, they would just have to eliminate one of the other positions. NASCAR Insiders are hearing now that NASCAR is seriously considering bringing this new style fuel can to both the Nationwide and Cup Series for the 2011 season. If this happens, it would mean the elimination of the catch can man for both of these two series as well.(NASCAR Insiders)(4-2-2010)

    UPDATE: hearing that the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series will be going to the same six man pit crew format that the Camping World Truck Series has been running this season, starting in Daytona 2011. They will be using a similar single-point, self-venting probe and dry brake system (9-23-2010)

    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials on Friday confirmed that the Nationwide Series will move to six-man pit crews for all teams next season, eliminating the catch-can position. The change puts Nationwide in line with the Trucks series, which already has made the change. The series' new gas tanks will have a single-point, self-venting system that doesn't require a crew member to operate.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2010)

    UPDATE 3: NASCAR will eliminate the use of the fuel overflow catch can in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series beginning in 2011, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed Saturday. NASCAR went to a self-venting fuel can for the Camping World Truck Series this year. By eliminating the catch-can man, teams can possibly save money by needing only six people instead of seven to service the car on a pit stop. Teams also will not have to worry about the costly penalty of having the catch can remain attached to the car when the driver takes off following a pit stop.(SceneDaily)(10-11-2010)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR is trying to make pit road safer in all three of its national tours in 2011 as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series will now adopt the refueling system currently used in the Camping World Truck Series. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton revealed during a media briefing in conjunction with a Goodyear tire test Thursday at Daytona that the change will debut in the two premier tours at Speedweeks 2011 at Daytona International Speedway, whereby "self-venting dump cans" will be used to refuel cars on pit stops. The system, which was made an option at the beginning of the 2010 season in the Truck Series, eliminates the seventh over-the-wall crewman who held a catch can to retrieve fuel that might spill from a vent on the back of the car. "Over our three national series, we'll run a fueling system that will eliminate the catch-can guy [because] it fuels and vents all in one process," Pemberton said. "It's what the trucks have used, successfully." In addition to eliminating the most exposed member of the over-the-wall crew, since the catch-can member would have their back to oncoming traffic, Pemberton said the advent of E-15 ethanol fuel also figured into the decision. "It better enables us to keep a control on the open container of fuel," Pemberton said. "Because with the E-15 you want to make sure you never get any moisture introduced into that and this better helps that."(NASCAR.com)(12-17-2010)

  • Growth Energy Becomes Official Partner of NASCAR: In preparation for the 2011 season and as part of its long-term commitment to "going green," the NASCAR announced a major long-term partnership with American Ethanol led by ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy. Growth Energy, a coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters including farmers and members of the ethanol supply chain, becomes an official partner of NASCAR, using the sport to bring its message of American ethanol to millions of race fans. American Ethanol will support drivers, teams and tracks with marketing, promotional activities, advertising and a season-long weekly contingency award in 2011. NASCAR made the American Ethanol partnership announcement just weeks after announcing a switch in its major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Financial terms of the six-year agreement were not disclosed. Led by Growth Energy, nearly 100 different entities - from individual ethanol plants to the National Corn Growers Association to biotech companies - are rallying around NASCAR to communicate their ethanol message. See full PR on my NASCAR News page.(12-3-20100)

  • Some changes to fueling systems in 2011: New items are in the works to reconfigure the current car's fueling system to that planned for the use of the E15 ethanol fuel blend that will be introduced in 2011. These changes will alter the gas lines, making it more tightly sealed in an effort to reduce the probability of water contaminating the fuel - something Sunoco indicated as a risk in their announcement two weeks ago in Charlotte. The changes to the dump cans will make them look more like the ones currently used in the Truck Series. From the on-site fuel pump to pit road, changes will be coming to ensure water does not enter the fuel at any point along the way. One current catch can man explained the newly designed cans not only fuel the cars at a slower rate - up to a second slower - they will require more skill and precision when connecting the can with the car. Despite the alterations to the dump cans, though, most in the garage do not feel the change to E15 racing fuel is the reason NASCAR is doing away with the catch can man. Instead, most point to efforts to cut costs, reduce the risk of injury, and others are simply baffled at the move.(Frontstretch)(10-29-2010)


  • NASCAR to go to a E15 fuel blend in 2011 UPDATE: NASCAR has told Sprint Cup teams to prepare for E15 fuel blend for the 2011 season. NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series are expected to use E15 fuel at Daytona Speedweeks in February. Sources say the blend will be ready for testing in January. An announcement of the change could be made as early as Saturday afternoon when NASCAR Chairman Brian France has scheduled a news conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Teams tested the E15 blend -- a mixture of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline -- in May. Both Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing have tested the fuel on the track. RCR's Jeff Burton tested a Sunoco ethanol blend this week during a tire test at Richmond. Roush Fenway Racing has tested the mixture in engines on the dynamometer. Lee White, president and general manager Toyota Racing Development, says that to his knowledge, TRD has not track tested the E15 fuel. However, White believes the move to an ethanol blend "is the right thing to do." According to the ethanol.org website, ethanol is a clean-burning, high-octane motor fuel that is produced from renewable sources. At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced from crops such as corn. In 2003, NASCAR inked a 10-year deal with Sunoco to be the official fuel supplier for the sport. Sources say Sunoco, which produces ethanol blends, will continue to provide teams with fuel. Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol coalition backed by POET, an ethanol producer, will be NASCAR marketing partner (FoxSports)(10-16-2010)

    UPDATE: NASCAR announced it will race with E15 fuel in its three national touring series in 2011. Sunoco Green E15 is a 15% ethanol blend using American-made ethanol from corn grown by American farmers. Sunoco Green E15 will be blended at Sunoco's fuel facility in Marcus Hook, Pa., which provides high-performance race fuel to NASCAR teams at no cost to them. The American-grown and American-made corn ethanol will come in part from Sunoco's new ethanol plant in Fulton, N.Y. The new fuel will be pumped directly from tankers at the track, rather than from on-site underground storage tanks. NASCAR team engine builders have been testing the Sunoco Green E15 for several months, and reports have been very positive. In fact, many have reported achieving more horsepower with Sunoco Green E15.

    Sunoco Green E15 is the latest in a series of NASCAR conservation initiatives. With the input of environmental experts and motorsports industry constituents, NASCAR is implementing programs to protect the environment while providing a proving ground for new green technologies. Drivers, teams, and track operators are working diligently on the issue of recycling, land conservation, and adopting alternative energy sources. Sponsors such as Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Goodyear, Office Depot, Safety-Kleen, Sprint and UPS are setting benchmarks for their dedication to keeping NASCAR green.

    Major NASCAR industry green highlights include:

    * NASCAR Green Clean Air: A unique program that plants ten trees for each green flag that drops during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, capturing 100% of the carbon produced by the on-track racing at the events.

    * Largest recycling program in sports: All tires, oils, fluids and batteries used in NASCAR racing are recaptured and recycled. Additionally, NASCAR's leading event recycling program has expanded in 2010, with Coors Light, Office Depot and UPS joining NASCAR and Coca-Cola Recycling. It is anticipated approximately 100 tons of material (including over three million containers) from NASCAR race tracks will be diverted from landfills and recycled next year.

    * World's largest solar powered sports facility: The NASCAR industry is taking a leadership position in alternative energy, represented in the Pocono Raceway solar farm, which at three megawatts is the world's biggest solar-powered sports facility, providing all the energy for the track, in addition to approximately 1,000 area homes.
    * "Green" Buildings: Two new office buildings, the 20-story NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte led by NASCAR which opened in June 2009, and the new headquarters building for ISC and NASCAR in Daytona Beach are LEED certified, an important distinction making them "green buildings."(NASCAR)(10-16-2010)

  • Fuel Injection coming to Sprint Cup...next summer: NASCAR expects fuel injection to be introduced next summer. The target date appears to be July 9th -- the Cup weekend at Kentucky Motor Speedway (FoxSports)(10-16-2010)

  • Latest on Fuel Injection: Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said that if all goes well, fuel injection could debut in the middle of next season in Cup.(Roanoke Times)(9-18-2010)

  • NASCAR may test fuel injection in a handful of 2011 races: Ron Dennis was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday to discuss several topics including the upcoming introduction of fuel injection in NASCAR. Dennis, 63, is the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive. He was the team principal of McLaren's Formula One team until last year, helping win eight drivers' championships. "I'm here representing my group of companies, specifically my (McLaren) electronics company," Dennis said. "We're hoping the commitment to quality and excellence is something that will allow us to become selected by NASCAR in production for some of the fuel injection and some of the other safety benefits and ecological benefits that we can bring with some of the technology that we have." Jack Roush met with Dennis on Saturday morning and discussed the transition of fuel injection in NASCAR. Roush said McLaren Companies has a proposal in to NASCAR to bid on fuel injection. But Roush believes the change will come with a price. "Don't think that it's going to be less expensive," Roush said. "It's going to put a burden on the teams. Any time you bring in a new technology that is complex, there's a cost. And there will certainly be a cost for the teams. It's likely to occur sometime in 2011. I think we've all heard the same thing. I don't think it will be more than a handful of races. Maybe start with the (Budweiser) Shootout. That would be my suggestion. They might do that, then look at the end of the year and see what they think about it, then full time in 2012."(Fox Sports)(7-25-2010)

  • No ethanol use in 2011? NASCAR Chairman Brian France said that the series might not use ethanol next season, going against previous comments from series officials that it would be used in 2011. "I don't know that we'll see (ethanol) in 2011 as a biofuel," France said this weekend at Daytona. "It's certainly an option that is interesting. There's a lot of thought that goes into it. It will be important for us to evolve the fuel source in the national divisions over time. I don't know what will happen in '11. We're working on a lot of things. What I can tell you is we will have a very slow, very steady and sometimes with a big impact, but steady march towards... this sport looking and feeling and acting more green."(Hampton Road)(7-4-2010)

  • Fuel mystery at Infineon: Jeff Gordon's #24-Chevy, for some reason no one really wanted to explain, wound up with a tank of gasoline that wasn't the right stuff, when it was filled up at the Sunoco gas pumps Friday morning. Sunoco officials said they couldn't discuss the situation and referred questions to NASCAR officials
    NASCAR officials said they were studying the situation and didn't have anything to say just yet. "We'll know more after qualifying," NASCAR's Robin Pemberton said. Doug Duchardt, one of the top bosses at the Gordon-Rick Hendrick operation, likewise said he couldn't say much about the situation either. Chevrolet officials also declined to comment. A look at the three fuels available at the garage gas station shows two leaded fuels, one 114 octane, one 116 octane, and a third labeled 'unleaded' read "GTX260" at 98 octane. NASCAR teams are to be using the unleaded fuel. It would appear - and this is what some rivals were told - that a gas pumper inadvertently put some of the 'leaded' fuel in Gordon's car. The issue was apparently noted when the see-through fuel lines didn't show the blue-dye that NASCAR's official fuel carries, that it was instead clear. If there were other cars that also got the wrong fuel, it was unclear. But teams were told later to make sure the fuelers put the right fuel in their cars. There was some question that the 'wrong' fuel in Gordon's car might have been some new E-15 racing fuel, which is being tested for possible use next season in NASCAR. Duchardt said the fuel in question was not related to any fuel the team might have used in any recent testing: "We went to the pumps (Friday morning) and got the fuel. It wasn't the color we were used to. But I don't know if the contents of the fuel were incorrect or not. I haven't been in the middle of it with NASCAR so I don't know the specifics. They tested the fuel; they have the results."

    Richard Childress: "I heard it (the fuel in Gordon's car) had some discoloration. It could have come from somewhere they were testing the car; they might not have gotten all of that (other fuel) out of the car. That would be easy to do." Gordon recently tested at Watkins Glen. Whether or not he might have tested with E-15 racing fuel is unclear. NASCAR teams have been testing with E-15 for some time, to help NASCAR with the planned changeover.(MikeMulhern.net)(6-18-2010)

  • E15 Fuel in 2011?: When NASCAR takes the green flag in 2011, race cars are expected to be fueled by E15 - a mixture of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Hendrick Motorsports is already testing the fuel and Roush Yates engines will start development with E15 in the next few weeks. According to RYE co-owner Doug Yates, the conversion is important to the sport. "Change is scary, but it's exciting as well," Yates said. "We have to keep up with the changes in the world to stay relevant. We need to be moving ahead." Although fuel injection remains on the drawing board for 2011,Yates agrees with other engine gurus in the garage that the fuel issue must take priority. "Fuel injection is in our future, but it wasn't as simple," Yates said. "It has to be fair for every manufacturer. Ethanol will be first because they want it in all three series. So it would have to work for carburetor as well as fuel injection." Although NASCAR stepped up discussion on the introduction of E15 fuels nine months ago, manufacturers disagree on the time frame of bringing the program to fruition. While one engine builder suggested six months, another suggested that E15 could be used sometime in the next 16 races - just not during the title-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup. In 2003, NASCAR inked a 10-year deal with Sunoco to be the official fuel supplier for the sport. Despite inquiries to Sunoco a week ago regarding the switch to E15, FOXSports.com has not received a response. One possible ethanol partner appears to be POET ethanol products of Wichita, Kan. POET gained attention last week when President Barack Obama visited the company's Macon, Mo. plant.(FoxSports)(5-3-2010)

  • Fuel changes coming in NASCAR: The only question about fuel injection in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is when it will be added not if. Not far behind could be the use of an ethanol-based fuel. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said that plans remain set for fuel injection to debut in the Cup series next season and that NASCAR's use of an alternative fuel also could come next year. "We should have some more answers probably in the next 21 days,'' Pemberton said about fuel injection. "I'd say we're on target, hopefully for early 2011 but it remains to be seen. We can't do it and screw things up but things are moving along pretty nicely right now.'' As for using an ethanol-based fuel, Pemberton said: "We're still looking at the fuel and what ratio percentage that we will use when we get there. "Our goal when we set out ... was (it) to happen in 2011. We have teams that have been running on the dynos with E10 and E15 and all the way up to E30. For the most part it's been E10 and E15.'(Roanoke Times)(3-25-2010)

  • NASCAR shooting to implement fuel injection in 2011: By the time the 2011 racing season gets under way, the only place to find a carburetor in the Sprint Cup Series might be in NASCAR's Hall of Fame. Officials said today that they hope to replace carburetors with fuel injection, and have been testing potential systems with an eye toward making the change as soon as possible. "We are in the process of the development and the testing and have been for probably six or eight months," " said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for NASCAR. The easy part is to just build the fuel injection system. The thing that we need to put into play is how are we going to regulate it, and what's going to be fair for everybody?" NASCAR is one of the only racing organizations that continues to use carburetors in its series. Fuel injection is a more accurate, and efficient, way of delivering fuel into the engine. It has been around since the 1950s and has been in place on all passenger cars in the United States since the late 1980s. Pemberton said some Cup teams have already been developing and working with systems with the expectation that such a move would eventually be made. Some teams, Pemberton said, "do have track time ... on their early production or early prototype fuel injection system. "So our goal is to shoot for 2011," he said. "I think that's pretty aggressive. "We are pushing hard."(SceneDaily)(1-23-2010)

  • Ethanol use possible by 2011: A NASCAR official said that the series could use a corn-based ethanol blend by 2011. Steve Phelps, NASCAR's chief marketing officer, made the comment during a panel discussion at the North America Motor Sports Business Forum this week. "I'm not definitively going to say that for 2011 we're going to have ethanol," Phelps said after the panel meeting. "It's something that we're looking at now." After the session, Phelps detailed what has been done in regard to ethanol. "Our guys are testing it at this particular point and trying to determine whether that's right for our series," he said. "They're on the engines now. What does it do to different parts? How does the engine run? Does it run cooler, does it run hotter - those types of things. We would certainly not institute a rule change or a fuel change that would affect the racing at all." Such a timetable could work well. There are indications that NASCAR could switch from carburetors to fuel injection in 2011, and that could be a good time to make the switch.(Hampton Roads)(12-11-2009)

  • Fuel Injection in 2011?: Several sources, including a NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief and a manufacturer's representative, have confirmed that the sanctioning body intends to replace carburetors with fuel injection on Sprint Cup engines in 2011. The move has been discussed for several years, but in a meeting between NASCAR representatives and representatives of the manufacturers held after the Talladega race, the plan was reportedly presented to those in attendance.(Orlando Sentinel)(11-19-2009)

  • No fuel injection until 2011? Car owner Richard Childress predicts that NASCAR will go to fuel injection in 2011. Childress has a share company that builds Chevrolet motors [Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines]. He says "we're constantly working on it right now.'' Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for NASCAR, said that series officials met with teams about it last week.
    "It wasn't about ideas, it was about laying out the groundwork ... with fuel injection,'' Pemberton said. "We're right in the very, very early stages of all of that.''(Roanoke Times)(10-2-2009)

  • Fuel Injection coming to NASCAR? UPDATEs: When NASCAR Sprint Cup director John Darby, a few weeks ago, raised the issue of 'fuel injected' racing engines in NASCAR, it raised eyebrows. NASCAR Cup engines are some of the most technically advanced engines in racing, except for the antique carburetors. Every other major form of racing, even ASA, uses fuel injected engines. NASCAR has long shied away from things electronically complicated like electronic fuel injection, for fear - with goodly reason - that the mechanical wizards on these racing teams might figure out a way to put some tricks in that electronic box. However NASCAR officials are raising the issue to team owners of fuel injected engines - possibly in the Truck series as soon as next season, according to one scenario - and asking how owners think NASCAR ought to police it. "We think fuel injection is just the right way to go in NASCAR," Pat Suhy, Chevrolet's NASCAR field director, says. "And it wouldn't be that difficult. Every other top racing series uses fuel injection. We could put something together in about a week - depending on how simple or complex you wanted to do it - and then test it for two months or so, and be ready to go."(MikeMulhern.net) (8-16-2009)

    UPDATE: NASCAR is researching the possibility of moving from engines with carburetors to fuel injection. Officials met with top engine builders from organizations earlier this month to discuss the move of that technology and others that would make cars more fuel efficient and more like cars on the manufacturer showroom floor. Manufacturers switched fully from carburetors to fuel injection in the 1980s. No timetable has been set for when fuel injection could be used, but Toyotas Lee White said his company could be ready to go by the 2010 opener at Daytona if NASCAR gave the go-ahead. "I would vote for it," White said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "No question, because everyone right now is spending an absolute fortune on [carburetor technology] that has absolute zero application in real life." White said all manufacturers need to be more conscious about the environment to survive, and he believes NASCAR needs to move more in that direction. "Sit in the grandstands and watch these cars go into Turns 1 and Turns 3 and watch all the fuel belching out the tailpipe," he said. "Thats wasted fuel thats going right into the grandstands in terms of lead poison." White said the transition could be made easily and without great expense. "Its something that could be implemented along with a few other things that could be discussed that could potentially reduce costs and increase the potential audience for the sport," he said.(ESPN)(8-21-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Speaking on condition of anonymity, a NASCAR official told SPEEDtv.com Friday that researchers for the sanctioning body met recently with team owners, engine builders and other constituents, but that discussions are purely in the research phase for the moment. Asked if one or more of NASCAR's top divisions might convert to fuel injection as early as next year, the NASCAR official said, "I don't see it happening."(SPEEDtv)(8-22-2009)

    AND - Ford: Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North American Motorsports, was recently on The Race Reporters show. Wolfe said he's in favor of fuel injection for NASCAR engines, that Ford will debut its new Cup engine before this season is finished, and that technical assistance is available to teams which might want to change manufacturers for the 2010 season.(SpinDoctor500blog)(8-22-2009)

    UPDATE 3: Sources have told FOXSports.com that Hendrick Motorsports is working on the fuel injection project for NASCAR. If NASCAR opts for fuel injection engines in the near future, it will likely increase production costs by $15,000 to $20,000. One engineer also quipped, "It will be more fuel efficient, but also provide teams with an easier platform to cheat."(FoxSports)(8-23-2009)

  • Fuel Prices hitting Race teams too: As gas prices soar across the country, the thought of paying $6.25 a gallon would make any consumer cringe. Yet that's what it costs in NASCAR, where race teams use a special Sunoco 260 GTX unleaded fuel to fill their cars. Although the gas is free -- part of Sunoco's agreement as NASCAR's official fuel supplier -- it doesn't mean car owners and drivers aren't feeling the pain at the pump. "It affects all of us, anybody that's in business," said car owner Richard Childress. "Getting our cars to the racetracks costs a ton in gas money for the haulers. Bringing our people to the tracks, the rising costs of jet fuel. It's very, very expensive to do what we're doing."
    Childress, owner of a highly successful race team, isn't complaining. Nor are the drivers who pull in multimillion dollar salaries and don't flinch at $85 fill-ups on their luxury SUV's.
    But no one in NASCAR is immune to the weakening economy and rising costs on fuel. Just because they can afford it, doesn't mean they aren't feeling the pinch. Under Sunoco's deal with NASCAR, teams are provided free fuel at any sanctioned test, practice or race for all three top divisions. A company spokeswoman said it's impossible to determine just how much fuel is used per weekend because of fluctuations in schedules, weather and the teams' practice times each week. When teams tested earlier this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, their gas was once again free. But the good teams test a lot, traveling all over the South to facilities not sanctioned by NASCAR. Sunoco doesn't cover those all-day sessions, and a race team typically brings a 55-gallon drum of gas to get them through the test. Even so, there are critics who complain that NASCAR races are dipping into the national supply. But NASCAR officials claim the amount of fuel being used -- less than 175,000 gallons per year on the Sprint Cup Series -- doesn't come close to the 366 million gallons that Americans average in daily usage. So NASCAR has no current plans to shorten races, as it did in the early 1970s when OPEC hoarded oil to increase prices, causing long lines at the pumps.

    But the pain is still felt away from the track, where teams have noticed a significant increase in transportation costs. From sending diesel-chugging haulers across the country to transport the race cars, to the exorbitant jump in jet fuel, costs are soaring in simply getting drivers, crews and equipment to each event. With diesel fuel now over $4.00 a gallon, and each hauler holding roughly 300 gallons, fill-ups now cost more than $1,200 for a truck that only gets between 4.5 and 7.5 miles per gallon. The real pinch, though, comes in jet fuel. Many team owners shuttling crew members, and drivers flying private planes on weekends, are considering cutting down on the luxuries. Many drivers own their own planes and use them for personal and professional travel. But at about $4.30 a gallon, Carl Edwards estimated it costs him $2,000 a trip to fill his airplane -- not worth it for a spur-of-the-moment vacation. Many also consider themselves lucky to be at the highest level of racing. Fuel isn't free outside of NASCAR, and as high as the ARCA level, teams are paying for gas to get to the track and once they get there.(in part from the Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2008)

  • Chevy pushing for alternative fuels in NASCAR: Chevrolet is continuing its effort to have NASCAR make alternative fuels a priority. "We're pushing hard - we probably are the instigators a little bit," Chevrolet Vice President Brett Dewar said during the Texas race weekend. "We believe in green racing, and we believe it is very appropriate to do that ... We believe it's time. We think racing can also be green, and we would like it to be biofuels." NASCAR executives have indicated that alternative fuels are a priority. "They're definitely receptive," Dewar said about NASCAR. "They've got fuel providers, and it's a transition, and I don't want to mitigate the fact that some work has to get done. There's modifications to the engines, but we do it to our vehicles today. ... We have to reduce our dependency on petroleum products. We just have to. Economically we need to do it, and we're willing to do it." General Motors is building cars that can be run on alternative fuels as well as electric vehicles. Dewar said the chairman of General Motors has been among those who has talked with NASCAR officials about alternative fuels. Could that happen in two or three years? "It could be sooner if we all rode together and worked together," Dewar said. "It's just a matter of bringing each other [together]. We're going to meet with them soon to see how their development is coming. but we're invited to this party. We're proud to be a member with them from the beginning, General Motors with NASCAR, and we're very supportive of that. We have to make good decisions."(SceneDaily)(4-17-2008)

  • What happened to NASCAR's ethanol program? from a Tom Jensen column.... Great question. I [Jensen] spoke with NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp late Friday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway and he said NASCAR is deep into alternative-fuel research at its R&D center in Concord, N.C. But making the change requires an awful lot of input from teams, fuel suppliers, engine builders, etc., and NASCAR tries not to rush into these things. I think within the next couple of years, there will be some alternative fuel in NASCAR, but it's not ready yet.(SPEEDtv.com)(3-16-2008)

  • NASCAR and alternative fuels? soon? NASCAR's Brian France, meeting here with General Motors' Brent Dewar, that company's top racing exec, may be cranking up the wick on an E-85 ethanol-gasoline fuel program. Dewar has been pushing NASCAR to go green, and switch Trucks, for example, to some ethanol-gasoline mix, which he said would be a good public-relations move for the sport. France said that NASCAR has begun a test-car program to see just what it would take to switch over. Ethanol is caustic to normal fuel lines, so different lines, probably Teflon-lined, would be needed, although the cost would be minimal. The problem would come with Sunoco, the sport's official fuel supplier, which would obviously have to get on board with any E-85 options. Engine builders said that NASCAR officials have asked them for some information on how such a fuel would burn in a racing engine.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-13-2007)

  • Latest on the water in the fuel deal at Atlanta: NASCAR officials said Friday morning that water contamination that plagued several cars in last week's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway has been traced to a portable fuel dispenser. The cars of #11-Denny Hamlin, #22-Dave Blaney and #16-Greg Biffle were among those to suffer contamination from water in the fuel. Hamlin's car stalled on a late-race restart that resulted in Martin Truex, Jr., who led the most laps in the race, crashing into Hamlin and out of contention. "Last week's issue with water in fuel during the Nextel Cup race has been investigated and pinpointed by NASCAR and Sunoco," said NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp. "Our investigation confirms that the fuel was on spec and that the dispensers at Sunoco's Atlanta track fueling station functioned correctly and was not the source of the contamination. "A failure did occur in a piece of portable dispensing equipment that is sometimes used to supplement the permanent pumps on busy race days. This failure allowed a small amount of water to be dispensed. Portable equipment has been used for many years without problem, and, in fact, this equipment functioned properly during the Craftsman race at Atlanta right before the Nextel Cup race." According to Tharp, the offending device has been fixed. "Equipment modifications have been made to ensure that this will not happen in the future," he said. "The portable equipment is not required for the fueling operation at Texas International Speedway this weekend and will not be used."(SPEEDtv.com)(11-2-2007)

  • NASCAR studying how Hamlin, Blaney had water in fuel: MORE Denny Hamlin, who thought he had enough gas while leading when his car sputtered and didn't start with three laps remaining in the Pep Boys Auto 500, actually had water in his fuel cell at the time. Whether that caused him not to accelerate and get hit from behind by Martin Truex Jr. is uncertain, Joe Gibbs Racing Senior Vice President Jimmy Makar said Sunday night at Atlanta. But what is certain is that Hamlin and Bill Davis Racing's Dave Blaney had water in their fuel cells, and Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle also might have had a similar situation. NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said that no water was found in the Sunoco pumps following the race. Darby said all of the Sunoco documentation from the weekend shows no water in the tanks.(SceneDaily.com)(10-28-2007)

    UPDATE: Water found in the fuel tanks of cars driven by #11-Denny Hamlin and #22-Dave Blaney during Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Atlanta was not isolated to those teams, a NASCAR official said Monday. Water also was discovered in the fuel of the Penske Racing cars driven by #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman after returning to Charlotte, N.C. In addition, water was found in the fuel cell of all three Richard Childress racing team cars belonging to #29-Kevin Harvick, #07-Clint Bowyer and #31-Jeff Burton. #16-Greg Biffle believes his car may have had water in its fuel, although no evidence was found. NASCAR Nextel Cup Series director John Darby said the problem is more widespread than originally thought and that NASCAR has issued bulletins to all Cup and Truck Series teams to check for evidence of contamination so they can locate the source. Darby said everything from the underground fuel-holding tank at the track to the fuel trucks that deliver the gas to the individual gas cans are being analyzed. He said the underground tank is the least likely source because there is an alarm system located that can detect the slightest amount of contamination. Darby dismissed sabotage as a possible explanation, saying too many teams were affected for anyone to have been singled out.(ESPN.com)(10-30-2007)

  • Alternative fuel in NASCAR's future: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said earlier this week the sport is researching a move toward an alternative fuel. It is a high priority for the sport, though no timeline has been set as the research is not far along. However, teams will have to revamp their entire engine program with the introduction of a new fuel. Richie Gilmore, vice president of competition for DEI, estimated the change this year from leaded to unleaded fuel ran his company roughly $500,000 in research and development. France said there is no timeline for any change because there are "eight or nine different versions of what alternative fuels mean to people." One possibility is ethanol, which the IndyCar Series switched to this season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-6-2007)

  • Sunoco still not happy: Sunoco is still upset about Shell's move into this sport (in which Sunoco is paying NASCAR for "official fuel" sponsorship rights) and is considering legal action against Shell to force it to take down all those Kevin Harvick banners at its 15,000 service stations.(Winston Salem Journal), Pennzoil/Shell sponsor's Harvick's #29 Richard Childress Chevy.(3-18-2007)

  • Harvick's Shell Logos to be scaled down UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick likely won't be wearing his Shell sponsorship logos quite so prominently this weekend at California Speedway. Harvick's team has been asked to utilize logos representing the Pennzoil automotive lubricant part of the company more prominently instead of the dominant Shell logo associated with the company's gasoline in an effort to play down any perceived competition with Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR. Sunoco has exclusive rights to the fuel category at a NASCAR track, and company officials raised the logo matter after Harvick won both the Busch and Nextel Cup series races wearing prominent Shell logos at Daytona International Speedway. As a result, Harvick will apparently be sporting smaller Shell logos at this weekend's events at California Speedway. "Obviously we've got a lot of partners and constituencies in the garage area that are important to the entire industry, and when these things come up we want to work through them as best we can," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Thursday morning.(SceneDaily.com)(2-22-2007)

    UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick isn't the only participant to have a new racing uniform for the Auto Club 500 today at California Speedway. His crew has new uniforms, too. The crew uniform, which had the Shell logo as the prominent display on the front and back of the uniform and "Shell" down the pant leg, now has the word "Pennzoil" on the front and back in addition to the Shell logo and now has Pennzoil written down the pant leg. The new uniform is similar to the new one of Harvick's. According to NASCAR Vice President Steve O'Donnell, the Shell sponsorship is supposed to focus on the motor oil Pennzoil and not the gasoline so as not to interfere with official fuel supplier Sunoco's marketing agreement. Shell received incredible exposure with Harvick's Daytona 500 victory last week. NASCAR, which is responsible for enforcing Sunoco's exclusivity deal, required the change in the Richard Childress Racing team's uniforms as well as Harvick's helmet.(SceneDaily.com)(2-26-2007)

  • NASCAR being lobbied to consider Renewable Fuels: While working for General Motors in Brazil in the 1990s, Brent Dewar got a firsthand look at the country's successful switch from an oil-based economy to ethanol. Dewar wants to see the same thing happen in the United States, and he thinks NASCAR can help. He's lobbying officials to consider a switch from gasoline to ethanol. "We would embrace it," said Dewar, GM's vice president of field sales, service and parts. "We think it would be great on a lot of fronts, because obviously it would send a signal to the public. A lot of people don't understand the benefits of ethanol." Other racing series already are embracing renewable fuels. Beginning this season, the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series will race on 100% ethanol. And the American LeMans Series will race on a 10% ethanol blend. Now, Dewar and others in the garage said they believe NASCAR should explore alternative fuels. NASCAR is taking one step in the direction of environmental responsibility by getting the lead out, catching up with a change most consumers made in the 1980s by switching from leaded to unleaded fuel. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said officials are willing to consider renewable fuels, too. "In terms of looking at the next step, obviously we're open to options," Poston said. NASCAR teams also would have to modify their cars to run on ethanol, but Dewar said the switch wouldn't be a "major investment." And he said it ultimately would be worth the hassle. Still, even proponents don't portray ethanol as a magic wand. Despite its benefits - it's renewable, can provide a slight performance advantage, isn't imported from politically volatile countries and burns cleaner - ethanol isn't as efficient as gasoline. Although today's cars can run on 90% gasoline/10% ethanol blends, cars have to be specially equipped to run on heavier blends of ethanol. GM and other car companies sell "flex fuel" passenger vehicles that run on gasoline or E85, an 85% ethanol/15% gasoline blend. But E85 isn't widely distributed in the U.S.(Associated Press)(2-22-2007)

  • Nextel Cup going to unleaded fuel in 2007: NASCAR will make the transition to unleaded fuel one year earlier than previously announced as it plans to have all three series run almost the entire 2007 season on unleaded fuel. The lone exception, involving the Nextel Cup Series, will be the season-opening Daytona 500. Crew chiefs said Friday at Martinsville Speedway they were informed of the decision this week, and a NASCAR official confirmed the move.(SceneDaily.com)(10-21-2006)

  • Small Fuel Cells done at LMS; 17 gallons in 2007?: NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said after the Bank of America 500 [at Lowe's Motor Speedway] that NASCAR will no longer mandate the 14-gallon fuel cells used in the last two races at Lowe's Motor Speedway in place of the normal 22-gallon cells. The smaller cells are designed to force teams to pit every 35 to 40 laps, which in turn reduces the possibility of right-front tire failure.(SpeedTV.com), supposedly a 17 gallon fuel cell will be used at all races in 2007.(10-15-2006)

  • Fuel Cells at LMS smaller: Nextel Cup teams again will use the 13.8-gallon fuel cell this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The cells, which hold about eight gallons less than normal fuel cells, were used there in May because of tire concerns with the repaved track. A smaller fuel cell means fewer laps between pit stops and more chances to change tires.(Roanoke Times)(10-12-2006)

  • NASCAR Pleased with Unleaded Fuel Test so far: NASCAR officials were pleased Monday with their first test of unleaded fuel and remain on schedule to have the gas in all of its series by 2007. The unleaded gasoline was used in Saturday night's Busch Series race in St. Louis, the first of a four-week test run of the fuel. NASCAR competition director Robin Pemberton said there were no major problems reported after the race. "A lot of the engine builders shared information with our inspectors and there weren't any issues," Pemberton said. "You might have seen some extra wear and tear on some internal pieces, but the engine-builders have been working on unleaded fuel since we announced it was coming and no one had any problems." A handful of ARCA cars also used unleaded fuel during Friday night's race in St. Louis, including driver Cale Gale's winning entry. NASCAR had planned to move away from gasoline with lead-based additives by 2008, but is now targeting next season. The Busch cars will continue to use unleaded fuel for three more weeks, and the Truck Series will begin a two-race trial run Friday night in Indianapolis and then in Nashville in August. Following those events, NASCAR will switch back to the regular gasoline while NASCAR, Sunoco officials and team engine builders evaluate the unleaded fuel. Both series will then switch back to the unleaded gasoline on Sept. 23 for the remainder of the season. All ARCA cars will test the unleaded fuel in a race at Talladega to give engine builders a chance to examine the use of the gasoline in restrictor plate engines. A decision on using unleaded fuel in the Nextel Cup Series isn't expected until the end of the season, but Pemberton said the Cup cars won't test it this year.(Associated Press)(8-3-2006)

  • Unleaded Fuel debuts at Gateway: NASCAR will take its first major step toward switching to unleaded fuel this weekend when the Busch Series cars will run it at St. Louis. The Busch cars will have unleaded fuel for the next four races. The change has created extra work for the engine builders. "We've had to do a lot of work with the valve-face coating," said Chris Robinson, who overseas the Busch engine program at Roush Yates Racing. "The lead in the leaded fuel worked as a lubricant on the valve train, so we've had to go back and make sure the valve coatings will compensate for the unleaded fuel."(Tampa Tribune)(7-26-2006)

  • Cup to run unleaded fuel in 2007 UPDATE: Nextel Cup cars will be mandated to run unleaded fuel beginning with next season's Daytona 500. NASCAR's Busch Series cars will switch to unleaded fuel on a temporary basis starting with the July 29 race at Gateway International Raceway, before running the brand full-time in 2007 along with the Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. "The plans are for Sunoco to evaluate what they learned for three or four races in the Busch Series beginning at Gateway, then come back later and finish out the [2006] season in the Busch and Truck Series running unleaded fuel," NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-19-2006)

    UPDATE: NASCAR announced today a timeline to phase unleaded fuel into its three national series beginning next month. The unleaded fuel will first be used for the NASCAR Busch Series race at Gateway International Raceway on July 29. The plan is to evaluate the use of unleaded fuel over several NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season before making a decision on when it will be mandated for all three national series. Unleaded fuel will be used for four weeks before undergoing an evaluation period. After the race weekend at Gateway, the fuel will be used at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis on Aug. 4 and 5 for the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; at Watkins Glen for the NASCAR Busch Series and Nashville Superspeedway for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Aug. 12; and at Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Busch Series on Aug. 19.

    Following those events, competitors will return to their regular fuel for four weeks while NASCAR, Sunoco and team engine builders evaluate the effects of the new fuel. On Sept. 23 the NASCAR Busch Series (Dover International Speedway) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) will resume using unleaded fuel for the remainder of the season.

    In addition, NASCAR, Sunoco and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series engine builders plan to work with the ARCA Re/Max Series at Talladega Superspeedway to study the use of unleaded fuel in engines with restrictor plates. Following the season, a decision will be made on the future of unleaded fuel. NASCAR had previously announced a switch to unleaded fuel by 2008. The current goal is to have all three national series using unleaded fuel fulltime by Speedweeks of 2007.(NASCAR PR)(6-20-2006)

  • NASCAR sticking with smaller fuel cells for Coke 600: While the cars in the Nextel All-Star Challenge had the smaller fuel cells in them Saturday night, the true test of the change will come in the May 28 running of the Coca-Cola 600. Although drivers have lobbied against the 13-14 gallon fuel cell being used instead of the 22-gallon one, NASCAR will go with the smaller fuel cell. The sanctioning body made that decision before testing earlier this month so that drivers could get the weight in their cars adjusted during their test sessions. "That deal is going to happen," Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said after the all-star race. "Even now that we've raced it, we had short runs and everything. We still don't have enough true live race data to pull it off."(SceneDaily.com)(5-22-2006)

  • NASCAR and Ethanol fuel? The Indy Racing League is leading the way on alternative fuels, beginning a two-year transition to ethanol. NASCAR? Those dinosaurs are still burning dinosaurs. Last year, General Motors officials privately asked NASCAR to consider switching to ethanol. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, made a similar public plea to NASCAR CEO Brian France. Their appeals didn't gain much traction. But that doesn't mean it was a bad idea. "It fits the racing mode, and we would definitely be in favor of any move that moves us away from dependence on foreign oil," said Brent Dewar, vice president of sales, service and parts for GM. Dewar, who became an ethanol evangelist after overseeing GM's successful sale of ethanol-ready cars in Brazil, said the automaker plans another round of lobbying NASCAR to switch.(see full story at the Associated Press), NASCAR will use Sunono unleaded fuel in 2007 after years of using leaded gasoline.(5-18-2006)

  • Unleaded fuel sooner for Busch & Trucks? Before the end of the 2006 racing season, NASCAR officials hope to have both Busch and truck series teams using unleaded fuel. And if all goes well, it's likely that unleaded gas will be used in the Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2007. "We don't know where we're going to be with [unleaded fuel for the Cup series]," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said April 20. "We said by '08. ... If the tests look promising, we will re-evaluate the timeline. We are going to, before the end of the year, run unleaded fuel in some select races, probably in the Busch and truck series. Some of their races are stand-alones, [on] short tracks and things of that nature. You're looking at less mileage, smaller carburetors, less horsepower." NASCAR teams have always used leaded fuel, and is exempt from the Clean Air Act of 1970 requiring unleaded fuel be used in all automobiles. Pemberton said testing with the new fuel has been "on-going" since the 2005 season, both at the NASCAR Research and Development facility in Concord, N.C. and among a number of individual teams.(SceneDaily.com)(4-21-2006)

  • Smaller fuel cells at LMS and road courses? UPDATE 2: hearing that NASCAR is looking at putting the smaller fuel cells in the cars at Lowe's Motor Speedway to force cars to pit somewhere between 35-40 laps, due to the tire wear with the new surface. NASCAR may also due this in the future at all road races to break up the pit strategies and could also use the smaller fuel cells when they return to Atlanta in the Fall.(4-1-2006)

    UPDATE: Smaller fuel tanks might be a way to deal with excessive tire wear at tracks like Atlanta Motor Speedway and the newly paved Lowe's Motor Speedway. The idea is that if drivers ran out of fuel after 30 laps or so, they'd make pit stops before tires could wear to a dangerous point. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said it's too soon to tell whether the smaller tanks, which are used at Daytona and Talladega to add pit stops and therefore break up big packs of cars, will be used elsewhere. "Our primary focus in preparing for the upcoming races at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May is testing the tires and getting them right," he said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(4-2-2006)

    UPDATE 2: NASCAR will require cars to use a smaller fuel cell at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, NASCAR Vice President for Competition Robin Pemberton said April 7. The move is designed to make teams pit more frequently and give them a chance to check tire wear on the newly repaved surface on the 1.5-mile track outside Charlotte. Pemberton said the tire Goodyear has decided to use "is a great tire," but NASCAR wanted to enter the first weekend on the new surface cautiously. The fuel cell will be about 13 gallons, compared to the usual 22-gallon cell. Teams will be able to go about 35-40 laps on fuel instead of 60-70 with the bigger cell.
    Nextel Cup teams will test at the track May 1-3, and Busch Series teams will test there May 8-10.(SceneDaily.com)(4-7-2006)

  • NASCAR to switch to Unleaded Fuel starting 2008: NASCAR will use unleaded fuel for its racecars and trucks beginning in 2008, making the switch from the high-octane leaded fuel that it has used for decades. Gary Nelson, NASCAR's vice president for research and development, said yesterday that the series had been testing a new fuel since the fall and that early results had been promising. The fuel, Sunoco 260 GTX, will be used in Nascar's three main racing series - Nextel Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck. Nelson said it was already being used in the Grand American road racing series. "Sunoco came up with a formula that really seems to do the job," Nelson said in a telephone interview. "It does a very good job inside the engine," he said, adding that "we've got more testing to do and more work to do." NASCAR is exempt from the 1970 Clean Air Act, which required the transition to unleaded fuel for all automobiles. But the series has worked to find an unleaded substitute for years. Nelson had said there were problems finding a fuel that provided the same lubrication as lead. The new fuel alleviates that problem without using MTBE, an additive that had been considered in the past but was rejected because it was barred in some states as a health hazard.(New York Times)(1-20-2006)

    UPDATE: NASCAR announced that a special unleaded fuel has been developed and will be used by the start of the 2008 season as a result of its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its fuel supplier, Sunoco. "We've been back and forth to the drawing board for several years to find an unleaded fuel that is compatible with NASCAR engines. NASCAR congratulates Sunoco and is proud of the progress it made on developing a fuel that works in NASCAR engines," said Gary Nelson, NASCAR's vice president of research and development. NASCAR tested a number of possible alternative fuels in recent years, but none that didn't cause engine problems. NASCAR tested an unleaded product in its NASCAR Busch Series in the late 1990s. However, the tests were unsatisfactory and required the sanctioning body to conduct further research. Other fuel solutions were incompatible and led to engine failure. NASCAR began testing the current unleaded fuel, Sunoco 260 GTX, last fall at its Research & Development Center in Concord, NC. The fuel will be used in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(NASCAR PR)(1-21-2005)

  • Fuel Comapny Plans NASCAR Promotions: Sunoco is planning two new campaigns this year that take advantage of its status as NASCAR's official fuel sponsor and supplier, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Writer Scott Warfield says the Sunoco Spot-A-Winner Sweepstakes will begin in May and have a top prize that will include a lunch with five NASCAR drivers and driving tips from them. As part of the campaign, Sunoco will give away authentic contingency decals at its 4,600 retail sites. The company will also have a second campaign in the fall offering merchandise tied to the Chase For The Nextel Cup.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-1-2005)

  • Unleaed Fuel in 2005? UPDATE: There is word, not confirmed, that NASCAR may be required by the EPA to change to unleaded fuel as soon as next year. Cup garage chief John Darby could not be found for comment, but top engine men say they also have heard talk. Randy Dorton, engine chief for Hendrick Motorsports, said he "would not be surprised" by such an edict, but that he has heard nothing directly from NASCAR. He noted that he and other teams had done a significant amount of work, in cooperation with NASCAR, on unleaded fuel four or five years ago, and that a Busch race at Richmond was run using unleaded, but that the project faded shortly afterward. One issue apparently is the fact that NASCAR now has three races in California, where air-quality regulations are much more stringent than in the nation in general. Sources say NASCAR has both kinds of fuel, leaded and unleaded, at its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. There was no word from series supplier Sunoco as to what it would take to convert to the "clean" fuel.(Speed Channel)(8-21-2004)

    UPDATE: NASCAR's John Darby addressed the subject of unleaded fuel Saturday morning, the matter again coming up in garage conversations after a five-year lull. "It's something we have to be prepared for," he said, "but it's not like somebody has got the vise turned up on us imminently. There has been talk that govenment and environmental agencies would require NASCAR to phase in unleaded fuel as early as next year, but Darby did not indicate that was the case. Such a move would require significant changes in engine construction, especially in the valve train, and Darby noted that he'd rather see the change in fuel come at a time of some other major engine change -- perhaps a change to fuel injection? Darby did, however, say the newly-announced gear rule for 2005, intended to reduce skyrocketing rpm, would be of benefit if and when unleaded is adopted, in that, with rpm reduced, vulnerable valves and valve seats would be under less stress. He also said Sunoco, which signed on last year for 10 years as fuel supplier for NASCAR, is "light-years ahead" of street and racing technology when it comes to producing suitable unleaded products, even in the 112-octane range used by NASCAR.(Speed Channel)(8-22-2004)

  • Special Sunoco Premium Offer: Sunoco plans to sell about 400,000 remote control cars as premiums in its first retail promotion of its sponsorship deal that makes it the official fuel of NASCAR, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Columnist Terry Lefton says cars will be offered at Sunoco's 4,500 locations this summer. The three remote control cars will be offered at $9.99 each. A picture shows one will carry the #15 and NAPA logo of Michael Waltrip's Nextel Cup car. Two will carry paint schemes and the No. 8 of Dale Earnhardt Jr., although the red model will not carry the Budweiser logo because the promotion is aimed at children, the story says. A blue-and-white model will carry the Oreo cookie paint scheme.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-21-2004)

  • Unleaded Gas Coming to NASCAR: NASCAR officials are telling engine builders to prepare, again, for a possible changeover to unleaded racing fuel. And NASCAR is polling teams about switching to aluminum engine blocks.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)

  • Sunoco on the way out? Shell in? DENIED: Is NASCAR ready to bail out of its sponsorship deal with Sunoco as the official fuel in order to make a more lucrative deal with Shell? That's the word on the street. A Shell deal would give NASCAR a much bigger presence out on the highway, because Shell has more than 20,000 service stations in the United States, and that's four times as many as Sunoco.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-23-2004)

    UPDATE: NASCAR has categorically denied that Sunoco will be replaced by Shell as official fuel of the sport. A NASCAR spokesman dismissed the story that started this rumor as "rank nonsense." In addition, NASCAR president Mike Helton said the association between the two has never been stronger. "Any suggestion that it isn't, is absolutely false," Helton said. "Sunoco and NASCAR are in the first year of a ten-year commitment for Sunoco to provide the world's best racing gasoline to NASCAR. Sunoco has exceeded our expectations in the quality of the fuel they delivering flawlessly to the race track. In addition, the company is marketing and promoting our sport in new ways, which will help NASCAR to attract new fans and to continue to grow. By all measures, this partnership between NASCAR and Sunoco has been a huge success. NASCAR is looking forward to the next decade together, and hopefully beyond."(NASCAR.com)(5-25-2004)

  • Fuel Line Problems: With the change in fuel providers to Sunoco this year, some teams have had to change fuel line manufacturers. One engine man said that "a couple of brands have been more sensitive to the Sunoco fuel," so several teams changed lines as a precaution. Some teams have noticed the lines are wearing out faster.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-3-2004)

  • Clean Fuel: Some engine builders say Sunoco's new racing gasoline is cleaner than Unocal's, which makes "reading" sparkplugs more difficult, when determining how to set up an engine. But Jack Roush says he has found no such problems: "When I look at how some people try to read sparkplugs, I'm like the dog that didn't hear the whistle and didn't get to the dish in time."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-9-2004)

  • Sunoco Picks Ad Agency: Sunoco has picked Ominicom's Millsport to handle development of advertising and promotional aspects of its 10-year deal to be NASCAR's official fuel, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. Columnist Terry Lefton says Millsport was picked from five agencies seeking the contract as Sunoco replaces Phillps/Conoco/76 as the official fuel.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-23-2003)

  • It's Official Sunoco to be NASCAR's official fuel: NASCAR announced today that Sunoco, the world's largest manufacturer of premium racing gasoline, will become the "Official Fuel of NASCAR," beginning with the 2004 season. Under the 10-year agreement, Sunoco will provide racing gasoline for NASCAR's three national series " the NASCAR Winston [um, it will be Nextel Cup in 2004] Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sunoco, a leading manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products, distributes gasoline to more than 400 race tracks in the United States. Sunoco already has a relationship with NASCAR as the gasoline supplier to approximately 80% of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series that competes at 75 tracks.

    "Because our sport literally runs on gasoline, this partnership is one of the most important relationships for NASCAR," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "Sunoco has a well-earned reputation for producing the highest-quality racing gasoline and for reliably distributing it to race tracks. In our NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series association with Sunoco, we have been impressed with Sunoco's people, products and passion for our sport. We are proud to welcome them as the Official Fuel of NASCAR."

    "While Sunoco is already the authorized gasoline manufacturer for more than 30 racing series, we are extremely proud of this partnership with NASCAR, one of the world's premier motorsports and the epitome of performance-based competition," said Robert Owens, senior vice president, Sunoco. "Sunoco has enjoyed a reputation for producing high-quality race gasoline for more than two decades. Through our dedicated manufacturing facility in Marcus Hook, Pa., Sunoco produces racing gasoline that delivers the exact components, exactly the same way, every time. This partnership with NASCAR is a crowning achievement for our performance products."

    Sunoco will replace Conoco Phillips'Unocal "76" brand as the official fuel provider of NASCAR in 2004. After the recent merger of Conoco, Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company, the company's marketing strategy shifted; Conoco Phillips chose not to renew the 76 fuel supplier contract, which expires at the end of the 2003 season.

    "Unocal 76 has been a trusted and valued partner for more than 40 years," Helton said. "We've enjoyed our long and successful relationship, and would like to thank 76 for their support and partnership in helping grow NASCAR through the years."

    Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., is a leading manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products. With 730,000 barrels per day of refining capacity, approximately 4,500 retail sites selling gasoline and convenience items, interests in almost 11,000 miles of domestic crude oil and refined product pipelines and 34 product terminals, Sunoco is one of the largest independent refiner-marketers in the United States. Sunoco is a growing force in petrochemicals with approximately 6 billion pounds of annual sales, largely chemical intermediates used in the manufacture of fibers, plastics, film and resins. Utilizing a proprietary technology, Sunoco also manufactures 2 million tons annually of high-quality blast furnace coke for use in the steel industry. For additional information, visit Sunoco's Web site at www.sunocoinc.com.
    Sunoco Performance Products, with a distributor network selling and promoting three racing gasoline brands " Sunoco Race Fuels, Turbo Blue Racing Gasolines, TRICK Racing Gasoline " offers information on these products on the following web sites: Sunoco Race Fuels at www.racegas.com, Turbo Blue at www.turboblue.com and TRICK at www.trickgas.com.(NASCAR PR)(8-15-2003)

  • Major NASCAR Announcent Friday UPDATE: Major NASCAR announcement with NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne at 10:00am/et on Friday, Aug. 15 at MichiganInternational Speedway media conference room. AND SPEED Channel will cover Friday's NASCAR Press Conference LIVE from Michigan, beginning at 10:00am/et. SPEED's Bob Dillner will be reporting.(8-13-2003)

    UPDATE 2: the announcement is aired on Speed from approx 10:30 to 10:35am/et, the blackout caused some problems with the initial broadcast due at 10:00am/et. No word on any re-air's, look for it in part on tonight's Totally NASCAR on FSN/Speed.(8-15-2003)

    could it be....

  • Fuel Supplier Chosen? a correction UPDATE 3: it was reported earlier that ExxonMobil had won the bid to become the official fuel supplier for NASCAR next season, however, there was some changes [not sure what], and being told that now that ExxonMobil has NOT signed with NASCAR, and remains one of three companies vying for the fuel deal.(8-11-2003)

    UPDATE: hearing it will be Sunoco and there will be an announcement at MIS this weekend.(8-12-2003)

    some NOTES: the Exxon post was removed from the Sporting News article on their site, but the old one is still posted at Fox. MSNBC and Yahoo. What I posted is an update to that. ALSO, some folks are getting confused over the Mobil ads that proclaim them as the "Official Lubricant of NASCAR", it has been the case since the beginning of 2003 [see Exxon PR or my NASCAR Sponsors page dates 11-7-2002] and has nothing to do with the Fuel deal, which is currently supplied by Unocal 76. Like I said, been told it is Sunoco and will be announced at MIS this weekend.(8-12-2003)

    UPDATE 2: Sunoco has emerged as the favorite to replace Unocal 76 as NASCAR's fuel supplier. Unocal, which has one of racing's longest-running sponsorships, is leaving.(Tampa Tribune)(8-13-2003)

    UPDATE 3 hmm...heard this someplace before:.....Sunoco will replace Union 76 as the official fuel of NASCAR's top three series, beginning in 2004. An industry source, who spoke Thursday to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Sunoco will supply all the fuel used in NASCAR's Winston Cup - which will become the Nextel Cup next year - Busch and Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR planned [planned? or plans?] to make the announcement at a news conference Friday at Michigan International Speedway. ConocoPhillips, owner of longtime fuel supplier 76, informed NASCAR it would not be continuing the relationship because of a shift in its marketing strategy and focus after the merger of the two companies last year. The 76 brand, which had several different owners during the period, was the official fuel of NASCAR for more than 40 years. The source said several other companies were interested in replacing 76, but NASCAR chose the Sunoco brand "because of its longtime racing involvement, supplying fuel for about 30 different racing series." The deal with Sunoco is "long-term," but details were not immediately available.(ThatsRacin.com/AP - only posting this to stop all the email about it)(8-14-2003)

  • NASCAR Seeking $150 Million Fuel Deal: NASCAR's asking price to replace ConocoPhillips' 76 as its official gasoline brand is $15 million a year in barter and cash for at least 10 years, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports this week. Staff writer Terry Lefton says the current deal is valued at $5 million to $6 million a year, mostly barter as fuel for the Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series. The story says the probable contenders include ExxonMobil, Shell, Sunoco and BP/Amoco.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-14-2003)

  • No More Free Fuel? The identity of the official fuel of NASCAR for 2004 is still not known, but whatever company it is, the gasoline may no longer be free.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2003)

  • Announcement 'Fuels' Speculation: With NASCAR's current fuel supplier announcing intentions to make its way out of the sport at the end of this year, there's little wonder that the engine builders in the sport are showing some early anxiety signs. Fuel, which in NASCAR-style racing dictates engine builds, is one of the often-overlooked commodities in racing. Tosco [76], the current supplier, offers remarkable consistency from track-to-track. Therefore, it's very easy for engine builders to take the engine to the limit every week. In this costly process, all of the fuel used in NASCAR's top series is made in one Texas-based refinery, then shipped directly to each track for dispensing to the teams gives the teams. But with a new entry on the horizon, that could change. However, NASCAR Winston Cup Director John Darby gives an emphatic "No" to a change in blending from the new official supplier, which is scheduled to be named sometime later this year. "Our goal in bringing a new fuel supplier on board would be that the competitors realize there's a different sign at the fuel pumps and everything else is the same as it's always been," Darby said regarding his goals for the supplier change. "A lot of that process is going on now with the fuel suppliers that we're talking to, which there are a number of right now," said Darby. "One of things they're most amazed about is the accuracy and consistency of our current fuel from track-to-track-to-track all the way across the country. Darby told TFR that NASCAR hasn't given out a recipe or formula for the fuel to any possible supplier, adding, "We're not chemists. Anybody can go get a fuel sample from any one of our race tracks and they can figure that out. We don't need to do that for them." Darby added a "No," reply to a possible switch to a no-lead blend during the changing of the fuel guard.(Ford Racing)(5-14-2003)

  • Fuel Problems? Sources at Talladega Superspeedway told teamfordracing.com that the fuel Unocal has provided since the announcement that they were leaving the sport might have some consistency problems. This, according to a leading engine builder in the sport, is leading to some interesting finds during post-race engine tear down. "We've even questioned here lately with Unocal moving out how the fuel ... We've seen some funny things on our parts after the race and for some of us fuel quality is changing on us," said the engine builder. "So yeah, it's a big issue and we've been talking about it quite a bit." Fuel is a vital part of the Winston Cup engine builder equation as the additive packages are what help hold a motor together during a race. Fuel chemistry changes can lead to premature part failure. NASCAR hasn't let the teams know what will be pumping in 2003, which is making the engine builders nervous. Variances with the chemistry and consistency of blend will be needed soon as it can take six to nine months to match the engine package to the fuel package. One big question that's not been answered is whether the fuel will be of a leaded blend, or no-lead. There is concern that if the sanctioning body goes the no-lead route that engine failure could rise dramatically due to leads lubricity qualities, or the capacity for reducing friction. Unocal, along with NASCAR and the teams, tried a no-lead blend several years ago in the Busch Grand National Series. Those experiments ended after the exhaust valves beat the seats out of the head. Unocal, to help solve the problem, suggested that the teams move to titanium vales. That suggestion angered the involved engine builders as they'd been using titanium for several years, and were surprised that Unocal engineers seemingly didn't know what was in a motor for which they were blending fuel.(Ford Racing)(4-12-2003)

  • 76 Gasoline Gone at the end of 2003 in NASCAR UPDATE 3: ConocoPhillips, owner of the 76 gasoline brand, said on Tuesday it will end its more than half century-long relationship with NASCAR auto racing at the end of the year. The familiar 76 gasoline logo -- an orange ball with the number 76 in blue at its center -- has been a fixture at NASCAR as "the official fuel of NASCAR." But 76's Houston-based parent company said it will end the sponsorship deal of more than 50 years by Dec. 31. ConocoPhillips said 76 will fulfill all of its contractual obligations, including supplying racing fuel at all Winston Cup events and at NASCAR's other circuits -- the BGN and CTS -- before returning its official fuel rights to NASCAR at year's end.(Forbes.com/Reuters)(1-28-2003)

    UPDATE: NASCAR Statement Regarding ConocoPhillips: NASCAR and ConocoPhillips continue to enjoy a strong working relationship and look forward to another great season in 2003. NASCAR has enjoyed its longstanding relationship with the company and wishes it all the best in the future. While we will be saying goodbye to ConocoPhillips, we look forward to welcoming a new official fuel supplier to NASCAR in 2004. We are already in the process of identifying the new official fuel supplier and will make an announcement regarding that supplier at the appropriate time.(NASCAR PR)(1-29-2003)

    UPDATE 2: hearing Exxon-Mobil is getting set to announce that Mobil will become the official fuel and lubricant/oil supplier of NASCAR.(1-30-2003)

    UPDATE 3 - Exxon-Mobil to be new official fuel of NASCAR? The battle now over "the official fuel of NASCAR" is reported to be between Mobil and Exxon. Unocal's declining markets, primarily on the West Coast, has lessened that company's promotional viability, and last week NASCAR, after years of negotiating, finally bought out the contract. Unocal, when it was still Pure Oil, was one of the first major sponsors for NASCAR, and Unocal helped provide the financial backing for the France family to build Talladega.(Winston Salem Journal), NOTE: Exxon and Mobil merged a few years ago, so there is no 'battle', maybe a decision within the company, but rumor has Mobil being tagged.(2-8-2003)

    UPDATE 4: The debate now is whether those advertising balls will be painted ExxonMobil red-and-white or Shell yellow. Those are the two companies expected to make the biggest offers to NASCAR for the marketing rights. Why would ConocoPhillips [76], the nation's third-largest oil company, give up NASCAR rights? Company officials say it's because they plan to continue to market regionally with their various brands, not nationally.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-11-2003)

  • ExxonMobil Official: NASCAR named ExxonMobil's Mobil brand of products as the "Official Lubricants of NASCAR" beginning in 2003. The announcement was made during the 2002 Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. An industry leader in the development of innovative, problem-solving lubricants, including synthetics, the Mobil family of automotive lubricants includes motor oil, transmission fluid, gear lubricants and greases, and will join a list of performance products endorsed by the nation's number one motorsport -- NASCAR. A long-time supporter of NASCAR racing, this marks Mobil 1's 12th season as a major sponsor of Penske Racing South with veteran driver Rusty Wallace and rookie sensation Ryan Newman.(Exxon Site/Business Wire) NOTE: this does not cover gasoline.(11-7-2002)