Getting Passed at The Kansas Speedway

Inside Dakota Ag

Two NASCAR fans teach me a lesson about promoting ethanol.

Published on: June 7, 2011

NASCAR is running on E15 this year and the race I attended last Sunday at the Kansas Speedway featured a special promotion for ethanol.

Selling ethanol to NASCAR fans ought to be easy. After all, the cars NASCAR fans love to watch on the oval are running great. They have plenty of power. There’s been little change in the miles per gallon, which was especially important at the Kansas Speedway, as the winner got to the finish line first because he made one less pit stop than everyone else.

But on my way to the grandstand for the start of the race I bumped into two fans who might be hard to convince that they should buy ethanol.

“No kidding,” a tall thin man puffing on cigarette was saying to his friend, “It’s the radioactive fertilizer that farmers are putting on tobacco that might be causing cancer from cigarettes.”

“What’s radioactive?” I asked.

Fertilizer. Yeah. I read it on the Internet.”

“No way,” I said.

His friend, a beefy guy who looked like he wrestled during high school or college, nodded slowly and glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. He had probably seen the combine at the American Ethanol exhibit outside the grandstand and knew there were some farmers in the crowd.

“I don’t trust farmers,” he said. “They use radioactive fertilizer and now they are even burning our food to make fuel, and the price of food in the grocery store is going up and up.

They’re not burning food,” I said. “There’s enough --"

The wrestler cut me off.

“Let’s get going,” he said to his friend, “and see if we can find something to eat.”

So much for changing their minds,

When I got home from the race, I looked for information about radioactive fertilizer being applied to tobacco. The smoker was right. It’s on the internet. Phosphate is the culprit. The source? The Environment Protection Agency, among others.

Those two NASCAR fans: 1. Me: 0.

Or in NASCAR-talk, I just got bumped.