YEAR END REVIEW | DECEMBER 9, 2015 SUBSCRIBE TO FOR FREE AT GETROAR.COM
THE AMERICAN ETHANOL-
IS FUELING RACE CARS AND THE
GROWTH OF E15
FOR MOST NASCAR SPECTATORS,
HENRY FORD’S NAME NEVER
COMES TO MIND WHILE THEY’RE
CHEERING ON THEIR FAVORITE
STOCK CAR DRIVER.
But Ryan Welsh is a different kind of spectator. As the director of sales and marketing for American Ethanol— NASCAR’s first partner when the racing organization launched its official
NASCAR Green Initiative in 2011— Welsh often
thinks of Ford and the impact the pioneering
automaker had on the transportation industry.
“Ford deserves thanks because of his vision and
innovation,” Welsh says. “Almost every working
American could own a car because of him, and he
had bigger ideas going forward on how to fuel them.”
In fact, when the Model T rolled off a Detroit
assembly line, it became the first production
flex-fuel vehicle, meaning it could run on
gasoline, ethanol or both.
As a prescient Ford once told the New York
COLLABORATING TODAY FOR A
Times, “The fuel of the future is going to come
from fruit like that of sumac out by the road,
or from apples, weeds, sawdust — almost
anything. There is fuel in every bit of vegetable
matter that can be fermented.”
Corn, of course, is one example.
At first glance, NASCAR might seem an unlikely
rolemodel for sustainable energy.
But fairly early on in the national conversation
about sustainability, the company’s executives
understood the importance of becoming a more