When it comes to a passion for biofuels—coupled with a passion for racing – there are few fans around more enthusiastic than Oklahoma farmer Brent Hajek.
In addition to farming near Ames, Okla., Hajek owns and operates the Hajek Motor Sports Museum to showcase some of the most famous retired race cars in history.
But retired cars aren't all Hajek showcases. In addition, he modifies vehicles to run on E85 ethanol blend and B20 biodiesel and runs them on the Bonneville Salt Flats in quest of land speed records. His Ford Mustang E85 car set a 252-mph record at Bonneville.
His modified Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup set a 171.23 mph record on petroleum diesel. Then he drained out the fuel and refilled it with B20- to set a biodiesel record at 182 mph.
Appetite for speed
Hajek, who brought the F-250 to the Topeka Farm and Ranch Show and presented his story at the Kansas Soybean Expo in January, says he is pretty sure the truck would easier top 200 mph on a straight and level highway.
"It's an amazing running machine," he said.
Ford Racing modified the engine and the drive train of the pickup truck and Hajek gets some assistance from the United Soybean Board, which administers marketing and research funds from the soybean checkoff.
But he says, most of his "toys" are self-funded.
"As a farmer, you spend a lot of time in a tractor cab, riding up and down the field at slow speeds," he said. "It gives you a lot of time to think up crazy ideas and whets your appetite for speed."
He said he loves the idea of promoting fuels from the crops he grows and is looking into a project that would allow him to promote alternative uses for soybeans, including composites.
To learn more about Hajek and his efforts, check out the February Kansas Farmer, Page 26 or read the story online.