Today's IRL headlines
1. Californians benefit from Ethanol Pump Pit Stop
2. Bullet Team Motorsports supporting hurricane victims
1. Californians benefit from Ethanol Pump Pit Stop: Ruben Cabadas was preparing to merge with the thousands of morning I-10 commuters when he spotted the sign for $2.20 regular unleaded gasoline at the 7-Eleven on North Towne Street.
Misprint, he thought. But when he noticed the lines of vehicles -- carpool moms, local residents and even the odd motorcoach -- streaming to the pumps, Cabadas joined a line. Ten minutes, a full tank -- of gasoline and complimentary coffee and doughnut -- and an education of the environmental benefits of ethanol later, he was plodding along on the entrance ramp.
The event in Pomona and another later in the day at a 7-Eleven in Ontario were a joint promotion between 7-Eleven and the ethanol industry (both IndyCar Series team sponsors). Ethanol blended with 90 percent methanol will power the IndyCar Series in 2006, with 100 percent ethanol the fuel in '07.
Ethanol is a grain alcohol derived mainly from corn. By the end of the year, the ethanol industry is expected to have the capacity to produce 4 billion gallons annually. With regular unleaded averaging $2.99 in the area, hundreds of motorists took advantage of the promotion.
IndyCar Series drivers Tony Kanaan, Paul Dana and Jimmy Kite pumped gas, signed autographs and handed out T-shirts. The ethanol education also was free.
"California is a key market for our sponsors because about 10 percent of all gasoline in the U.S. is consumed in the state of California," said Dana, noting that each gallon is enriched with 5.7 percent ethanol. "Ethanol actually is huge in this market, but there isn't a lot of consumer awareness.
"The two biggest issues that have been in the news a lot and people are aware of are air quality and MTBE (an additive that was legislated out of fuel because of questions of its toxicity). Ethanol is a clean, renewable fuel. It's non-toxic and biodegradable; there are no issues with it leaking out of ground storage tanks like they had with MTBE.
"Gasoline that has been blended with ethanol has been proven to reduce the particulate emissions from the tailpipe by 30 percent. People get the smog issue. I don't think they understand that ethanol is the solution."
Now, Cabadas does.
"I'm all for the country finding a way out of its dependence on foreign oil," he said. "This could be a way."
2. Bullet Team Motorsports supporting hurricane victims: Bullet Team Motorsports will utilize the Menards Infiniti Pro Series' California 100 as a forum to raise money for victims of recent hurricanes with the team's official charity, World Vision.
The World Vision logo will be on the sidepod of the No. 23 Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone driven by team owner Taylor Fletcher. The team also will conduct a silent auction of a World Vision cycling jersey at the team's trailer.
"I am very excited to be involved in this relief effort and hope that racing this weekend will generate donations to help the survivors of the Gulf Coast hurricanes," Fletcher said.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. For more than 50 years, World Vision has built strong relationships with more than one million donors, thousands of churches, and hundreds of businesses, foundations, organizations, and governments to work collaboratively to break the cycle of poverty.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition concludes with the Toyota Indy 400 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ESPN and the IMS Radio Network. The race broadcast also will be carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 (XM Extreme). The final Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the California 100 on Oct. 16 at California Speedway. The ESPN2 race telecast will be available live on ESPN360.com. It will be telecast at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Oct. 20.