Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thunder Road Begins Alternative Energy Program In 2005
Barre, VT – Barre’s Thunder Road will initiate the use of alternative energy in the 2005 racing season, introducing an optional agricultural grain-alcohol Ethanol and gasoline fuel mix to power race cars in one of its successful stock car divisions, populated by more than 40 race teams. The effort to utilize an environmentally-friendly fuel is believed to be one of the first by a stock car organization in the United States.

“At first, our Allen Lumber Street Stock Research & Development car will be powered by a 9-to-1 gasoline-to-Ethanol mix,” said Thunder Road Promoter Tom Curley, “but we hope to convert the entire division by the end of the season.” That Ethanol requires no changes to conventional gasoline-powered engines for use appeals to Curley. “We want to make a statement that a cleaner burning corn-based fuel will not only help the environment, it will provide the same exciting level of competition to our fans, and at no extra cost to our competitors,” he said.

The mid-western United States Auto Club (USAC) uses a similar fuel in three of its open-wheel racing divisions. “Alcohol-based products burn much cooler and are less volatile than traditional high-octane stock car fuels like gasoline,” said USAC President/CEO Rollie Helmling. Helmling also pointed out that Indianapolis 500 cars run at speeds of 200 mph on pure alcohol.

Curley lamented the fact that the United States is in the midst of a large energy shortage, and that pollution levels increase each year. “It’s been the old scenario of people talking about a solution, but few do anything. We want to make a statement through racing. If we can begin to lessen our country’s dependency on Mid-Eastern oil by even one-tenth, imagine the billions of dollars that can be saved. American farms produce a huge grain surplus, allowing fuels like Ethanol to be made available, so it only makes sense to us to help balance things out.

“One division of race cars at Thunder Road will not make a huge difference,” admitted Curley, “but at least it gets the ball rolling in the right direction.

“Someone has to start somewhere, and it might as well be us in Barre, Vermont.”