Waving the Green Flag
NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway are keeping America beautiful
Jeff Gordon leads the field on a restart, during the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images/NewsCom)
NASCAR racing is a popular and exciting sport. Racecars reach speeds of over 200 mph and have engines that are six times more powerful than street cars. Unfortunately, these high performance cars usually burn leaded fuel that is not environmentally friendly.
But according to Kevin Triplett—a spokesman for Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in Tennessee—things are changing for the better.
“NASCAR has transitioned this year from leaded fuel to unleaded fuel. This will help reduce emissions and create a cleaner burning fuel environment,” Triplett told Scholastic News Online.
NASCAR has been voluntarily experimenting with unleaded fuels for several years. Now, after a lot of research and development, their engineers and scientists have come up with an environmentally friendly formula that will not slow the racecars down.
The new fuel debuted at the races in March. Also in March, Bristol Motor Speedways hosted the world premier of the Car of Tomorrow—a new car body style made for NASCAR racers.
|Racer Tony Stewart, #20, talks to Kid Reporter Megan Dolan at Bristol Motor Speedway in March 2007. (Photo: Courtesy Megan Dolan)|
The Car of Tomorrow was seven years in the making. Engineers and scientist have been working to increase safety, reduce costs, and create more of an even playing field for the drivers.
Not everyone is sure the new body style is the future of NASCAR racing. Racer Tony Stewart, who led the pack for most of the race commented on the retro style of the design. “I don’t like they way they look,” Tony said.
The new racecars are is 2 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the old models. The drivers sit 4 inches closer to the middle to increase crush space. The officials say the new changes should allow better balance and more control. Some teams claim drivers won’t be able to catch up if you get behind because the cars are larger and less aerodynamic.
Also new at Bristol Motor Speedway is a recycling program, which encourages fans to separate recyclable products from trash.
“The state of Tennessee has a big Stop Litter Program and we work with the local Bristol Chamber of Commerce in the Keep Bristol Beautiful Program.” Triplett said.
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Megan Dolan is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.