Week Eight NASCAR Update! Treehuggers Beware: The Earth Died a Little Bit on Earth Day.

In the spirit of Earth Day, I crunched some numbers after today’s NASCAR race at  Kansas Speedway to see how the sport impacts the environment. My findings produced some staggering numbers.

  • 43 cars participated, as in Every Sprint Cup Series race.
  • The cars get a gas guzzling 3.75 miles per gallon! That’s .27 gallons per mile!
  • A total of 9590 (1.5 mile) laps were completed for a grand total of 14,385 miles!
  • That works out to roughly 3884 gallons of fuel consumed today! NASCAR is using Sunoco Green E15, which is 15% American made ethanol blended with conventional gasoline. That means they used 3301 gallons of conventional gasoline blended with 583 gallons of ethanol. The 3301 gallons of conventional gasoline requires 170 barrels of crude oil! You also need almost 2 acres of corn to produce that 583 gallons of ethanol!
  • I estimated that about 1,400 tires were used this weekend.

Now what about carbon emissions? This is the scary part.

  • A Sprint Cup car produces about 6 pounds of CO2… per mile!(Compare that to my Jetta, which produces .47 pounds per mile!) Multiply that 6 pounds by the 14,385 miles raced by 43 cars today… that’s over 86,000 pounds of CO2 produced… pumped right into the atmosphere in a little under three hours!

And how much trash could possibly be produced by the 75,000 or so fans in attendance today? I’ve got no numbers, but it’s got to be mind boggling. 

Dear God… NASCAR is doing a hell of a job in destroying the Earth. Hell, they flipped off Mother Earth today, on HER DAY, and then did a victory burnout just to rub it in!

Wait… WHAT? They have initiatives in place to offset the Godzilla sized footprint they stomp into the environment every week?

But they do! You didn’t really think I was gonna put my second favorite sport on blast and leave it at that, did you?

Click HERE for all the details…. but here are some highlights:

NASCAR has the largest tree planting program in sports. The NASCAR Green Clean Air Program plants 10 trees for each green flag that drops during races, capturing 100% of the carbon produced by the on track racing.

At the track, Coca Cola & Coors Light educate fans on the benefits of recycling and encourage them to drop plastic bottles and aluminum cans in designated bins. Bottle and can recycling has expanded to include the grandstands, concourse, suites, garage and campgrounds at almost every track NASCAR visits.

Safety Kleen Systems, Inc., the Official Environmental Services Supplier for NASCAR, provides oil recycling and re-refining services to more than 200 NASCAR sanctioned races a year, ensuring that all oil and lubricants used in racing are recaptured and re-used. Safety Kleen collects and re-refines more than 200,000 gallons of race used oil annually. The company continues to provide absorbent products used for cleaning fluid spills inside NASCAR garages.

Goodyear, the Official Tire Supplier of NASCAR, spearheads a responsible recycling program for tires used on NASCAR stock cars. Tires are transported to Charlotte, NC, and are immediately given first phase processing on site. The recycled material is sold to various industries for next generation usage such as power generation and for asphalt mixtures. Approximately 121,000 tires from NASCAR’s top three national series combined are recycled each year.

So there ya have it! NASCAR cleans up after itself quite well!

As far as today’s racing action went… pretty freakin’ awesome. Apparently, the way Kansas is configured, passing is pretty difficult there. It’s doable, but the drivers have to be extremely aggressive to pass in the turns, putting the cars sideways. The setup of the car has to be perfect to accomplish that without wrecking. Best way to pass was on the re-starts, of which there were only two…. and it got CRAZY! They went four wide and it shocked me that they didn’t wreck!

Denny Hamlin won! This was his second win of the season.

Dale Junior ran another very consistent race. He started 7th and finished 7th. He stayed up front all day, but wasn’t very aggressive. Jr. seems to be playing it safer lately, which is working well, though it won’t win him any races.

Numbers after week eight:

Austin (Idle this week)…

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
6 0 4 5 5.7 6.3

Dale…

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
8 0 3 6 13.4 8.0

Danica (Idle this week – but she was hiking somewhere!)…

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg. Start Avg. Finish
6 0 0 1 18.0 22.2
Danica, Austin and the rest of the Nationwide Series returns next Friday night (Ugh… that’s day two of the NFL draft); at Richmond. Sprint Cup is racing there Saturday night. The NHRA is racing as well; at Houston! Gonna be a busy weekend for motorsports!
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