Ethanol’s octane power on display during sixth annual Shift S3ctor race - Indiana Corn and Soy

Ethanol’s octane power on display during sixth annual Shift S3ctor race

Posted: November 1, 2022
Category: ICMC, Indiana Corn and Soybean Post - Fall 2021, News

When it comes to spectator sports, not many events can match the vibrant colors, the unique sounds and the raw power of auto racing. All of that and more was on display at the Shift S3ctor Indy Airstrip Attack at the Marion Municipal Airport on Aug. 14-15.

As a title sponsor for the event, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) took advantage of an opportunity to tout higher blends of ethanol for the thousands of race fans at the race and the tens of thousands of race fans watching online.

ICMC uses the event as a platform to promote use of higher ethanol blends like Unleaded 88 and E85. Unleaded 88 is a 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel, and it can be found at nearly 100 retailers around the state. That number is increasing thanks in part to ICMC’s retailer-grant program. E85 is a blended fuel with 85 percent ethanol.

ICMC President Joshua Miller, a farmer from nearby Anderson, Ind., said the state’s corn checkoff is happy to sponsor these types of events. “Most people may not realize it, but farming and auto racing are very similar. Both are about innovation and taking risks,” Miller said during a reception for race drivers, sponsors and organizers the night before the racing started.

“In racing, innovations to the cars improve their performance, and taking risks can be the difference between winning and losing. In agriculture, we integrate new technology every year. If we don’t, then we risk not getting the most out of the crops we plant. Farmers also work to find new markets to improve the value of their crops. Unleaded 88 and ethanol-blended fuels are critical to the success of Indiana farmers.”

ICMC Biofuels Director Helena Jette said many of the racers competing in the Shift S3ctor event were using E85 to power their cars. Shift S3ctor co-founder Jason Huang said the maximum number of drivers signed up to participate in this year’s race.

“From a race weekend perspective, it was incredible. We were at max capacity in terms of race cars. We had nowhere left to park them,” Huang said. “It was amazing to see that many cars come out to Marion, 95 percent of those cars were not even from the state of Indiana.”

Shift S3ctor racing features sports cars that might be found on the highway, such as Ford Mustangs, Dodge Vipers and Chevrolet Camaros. But the event also features high profile racing cars such a Ferraris, Lamborghinis, MacLarens and Nissan GTRs. After racing on the half-mile airport runway, some of these cars can reach 200 mph.

“These guys came in from all over, the furthest corners of this county – Washington, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia, California. That increase is a feat in itself, to get that many people from all over the country into Marion,” Huang said. “I think we also had a very good turnout for spectators.”

At the race reception on Aug. 13, ICMC CEO Courtney Kingery explained the value of ethanol to Indiana’s farmers.

“You might have noticed a few cornfields on your way here today. Indiana is the fifth-largest, corn-producing state in America. Each year, Indiana harvests nearly 5 1/2 million acres of corn, and those acres yield more than 900 million bushels. This year’s crop looks to be one of the best in history,” Kingery said. “Ethanol helps to move that very large pile of corn. Nearly 50 percent of the corn grown in Indiana will be processed in one of our state’s 14 ethanol biorefineries. Corn growers who work within 30 miles of an ethanol biorefinery could realize an 18-23 cent premium per bushel on corn prices.”

At more than 1.1 billion gallons per year, Indiana stands as the fifth-largest U.S. producer of ethanol. Indiana produces nearly 8 percent of the total U.S. ethanol output.

ICMC President Joshua Miller, a farmer from Anderson, Ind., talks about the benefits of using ethanol during a reception prior to the Indy Airstrip Attack.

“Sponsoring this event and promoting corn-based, ethanol-rich fuels such as Unleaded 88 is right on track with our mission,” said Kingery. “Ethanol helps to move that very large pile of corn.”

Sponsors of the race’s reception included the American Lung Association, Casey’s fueling stations, Dover Fueling Systems, Indy’s Garage, Greater Indiana Clean Cities, First Farmers Bank and Trust, the Illinois Corn Board, Kansas Corn, the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the Missouri Corn Growers Association, the Nebraska Corn Board, and of course, Unleaded 88 brought to you by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.

“Unleaded 88 is Engine Smart and Earth Kind,” Jette said. “Unleaded 88 is a naturally higher octane fuel that increases efficiency and boosts the horsepower of modern engines. But Unleaded 88 also burns cleaner than conventional gasoline leaving the air cleaner and easier to breathe. Unleaded 88 is the next innovation in fuels for our cars.”

Huang said the seventh Indy Airstrip Attack is tentatively set for Aug. 13-14, 2022. The official date will be determined later this year. For more details about Shift S3ctor, go to their website at shift-s3ctor.com

Both ICMC and the Unleaded 88 promotional program were sponsors of Shift S3ctor’s Indy Airstrip Attack in August at the airport in Marion, Ind.
Glen Griffiths, in a plaid shirt, is a farmer from Noble County, Ind., and a racer in this year’s Indy Airstrip Attack. Griffith is showing off the engine of his Shelby sports car to a group of area farmers.

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