Thursday, July 5, 2012 16:34
Environmentalists may scoff, but the motorsports industry is meeting critics more than halfway with a variety of “green” programs. The American Le Mans Series has the Michelin Green X Challenge and NASCAR is doing a number of things to clean up the air at the track (and it has nothing to do with Kurt Busch…sorry couldn’t resist a potshot).
The NASCAR switch to ethanol E85 has made a big difference. Though hardly scientific, the air inside Bristol Motor Speedway is trapped by the bowl shape and high grandstands that completely surround the infield. NASCAR veterans have always complained of the “Bristol headache” after the race because a whole race worth exhaust gas has nowhere to go. “My dad used to complain about going to Bristol,” says Doug Yates. “He didn’t like the smell and the smog and all the contaminants. That’s cleaned up a lot.” E85 and the fuel injection engine have reduced the need for Tylenol on the way back home from a Bristol event.
Not so long ago, Jack Roush used to take great pride jetting carburetors. He would hold the carb high by all four corners, like a priest holds up a challis at mass, and take it to the car when he was finished with a jetting job. So a great ceremony is another “green” casualty.
Roush/Yates engine guru Doug Yates says there is another gain. That’s because the fuel injection system controls the fuel/air mixture much more precisely. It also eliminates the off-throttle flames coming out of the exhaust from unburned fuel. More...