Traditionally, the only green associated with NASCAR
was the color of money. While Formula 1 has allowed teams to add hybrid
systems to cars for 2009 and the American Le Mans Series explicitly encourages alternate fuels
, NASCAR has been in the alt fuel dark ages. The "stock" car series just switched from leaded to unleaded gas in 2007 and still mandates the use of carburetors. Ethanol, diesel
, hybrid? Hah!! As the 2009 season gets underway next month, NASCAR officials finally seem to be seeing the writing on the wall; at least a little bit.
Unlike ALMS, which has a full blown Green Challenge
, NASCAR CEO Brian France this week hired a managing director for "green innovation." During France's press conference last week, he declared that, "Mike's responsible for planning and executing a comprehensive industry-wide green initiative." It's not clear what that means, exactly, but given NASCAR's traditional conservatism, we probably shouldn't expect to see any dramatic changes any time soon.