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Street-legal cars burn E85 on Kearney racetrack

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KEARNEY — More than 200 cars will roar down the Kearney Raceway Park track Oct. 1-2 during the 2011 National Hot Rod Association Division 5 National Open, with events for dragsters, super stocks and street legal cars.

However, Grady Koch of Upland, KRP co-owner and head of market and sponsor development, will be focused on a special class of racers not listed on the event poster.

The street legal cars, including 20 from Indiana, burn racing fuel that is 85 percent ethanol.

“The idea starts with the premise that ethanol performs,” Koch told members of the Nebraska Ethanol Board who met in Kearney on Friday. “... There’s no better place to prove it than at our racetrack. We are offering our venue.”

The entire weekend of racing is co-sponsored by the Nebraska Ethanol and Corn boards. Gates open at 7 a.m. both days, with time trials at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 and 9 a.m. Oct. 2.

Koch said getting more racers to use ethanol fuels will help fight well-worn rumors that ethanol ruins motors. “It actually saves motors,” he said. “Heat is a killer of high performance engines, all engines.”

He said the ability to get tremendous horsepower without the heat problems with E85 will be the incentive for car owners to make the modifications needed to use ethanol fuels.

“We want the races in this area to show what is being done with E85,” Koch said, adding that the NHRA points race will draw entries from a 10-state area.

Raceway owners had planned to provide E85 racing fuel this year, because E85 at the pump is too variable in the actual blend of ethanol and gasoline to run in race cars. “We run on times, so it’s a very technical thing,” Koch said. “If the blends are not the same, you don’t get the times.”

 

http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/article_ee8e1028-e0f0-11e0-bcb6-001cc4c03286.html

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Wow.  Promoting E85 with a race class which isn't even listed on the poster?  What is next ...showing how well it performs by not running the cars down the track?

 

Guess I'd have to give them 1/2 point for trying

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KRP is my home track. I have made well over 200 passes down that 1/4. If I were living back home you can bet I would be at Kearney every open weekend, and of course running ethanol instead of gas.

 

They probably made the posters up a while ago and this is something new they decided to do. In years past KRP made one poster at the beginning of the season and it pretty much just had the dates when the track was open.

 

If I ever move back I will be there all the time. Its only 90 miles from my dads farm, and they have a nice facility now. In Omaha and Lincoln there is quite a following running E85, it just needs to spread to the rest of the state. Everyone at the track should be running E85 instead of gas, if nothing else because of the temperatures at the track. I remember drinking 4 gallons of water on a race day and not having to take a restroom break, that happens when its 105+ ambient, and your drag car has no ventilation.

 

I really miss racing there.

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I would have to get the car back home, and I only got it started for the first time with the new engine today. Since I have to buy firewood between now and November, a trip home to race isnt in the cards since it almost always costs me over $1k and I need that for heat.

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Wow.  Promoting E85 with a race class which isn't even listed on the poster?  What is next ...showing how well it performs by not running the cars down the track?

 

Guess I'd have to give them 1/2 point for trying

 

I'd give the Kearney Hub 100 out of 100 points for getting the story out :sign0098:. I'd give the track owner / promoter 100 out of 100 points for putting a emphasis on E-85  :72:. I have never heard of a E-85 only class, yet, and I don't think that is what he implied. Stating " special class of racers not listed on the event poster." I would think meant within the Street Legal racers there is a class (or group of competitors within the sanctioned class) of racers that use E-85 fuel. KRP may have "Gamblers" type race for the E-85 racers running in the Street Legal class.

 

It's been about 15 years since I've been to KRP and I've heard they have made huge improvements there and years ago this was a well run and well liked facility. I may have to make the trip again in a few weeks  :steeringwheel:.

 

Event poster: http://www.krpi.com/Images/index/Special%20Event%20Flyers/2011%20National%20Open.jpg

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starts tomorrow out in Kearney

 

the Neb Ethanol Board is sponsoring "85cents off e85" at the two Pump & Pantry stations that sell e85 in Kearney!

 

As part of this weekend’s events, two Bosselman’s Pump & Pantry locations in Kearney will offer an 85 cent per-gallon discount on E85 and a free 32 oz. soft drink with a minimum 10 gallon purchase of E85. This special deal is good only on Sunday, October 2 from noon to 6 pm at the Pump & Pantry at 4311 N 2nd Avenue, and the Pump & Pantry at 1212 E 56th Street.

http://www.ethanolretailer.com/latest-retailer-news/

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Sounds like it was a great event! I wish I could have made it.

 

http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/article_67579d52-ebfb-11e0-8e83-001cc4c002e0.html

 

Drag racers using it burn up tires, not their engines

 

Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2011 2:02 am | Updated: 2:04 am, Sat Oct 1, 2011.

 

Drag racers using it burn up tires, not their engines By MIKE KONZ Hub Managing Editor Kearney Hub

 

KEARNEY — Dave Kramer of Sterling, Colo., lifted his voice above the thrum of Denver traffic Thursday afternoon to talk about one of his favorite topics: drag racing.

 

“It should be a good show for everyone,” Kramer said, referring to the Midwest regional drags planned this weekend in Kearney. More than 200 racers from Texas to Canada will be in town for the 2011 NHRA Division 5 Nationals.

 

As cars thunder down the quarter mile at Kearney Raceway Park, racing fans will notice the aroma of baking bread amid the scents of burned fuel and rubber wafting across the grounds.

 

The source of the bakery aroma? Ethanol.

 

The farm-grown fuel is becoming the propellant of choice for many racers because it packs a kick but burns cooler than conventional gasoline, which can warp and ruin expensive race engines.

Back in Denver, Kramer acknowledged compliments from passersby as they reacted to the monster engine commanding the bed of his pickup. Kramer was in the Mile High City to pick up the 500-cubic-inch power plant he’ll drop into his dragster for the Kearney drags.

 

Kramer’s son, Deric, will pilot their purple-and-aqua American Ethanol Dragster at KRP. If track conditions are right, the fat rear tires will hook up and the ethanol-powered 1,500-hp Hemi will rocket Deric down the track a bit faster than in June, when he clocked 6.4 seconds at 213 mph at Denver’s Bandimere Speedway.

 

“It’s a rush,” Kramer said about being crushed back against the driver’s seat as a dragster launches off the line. Kramer owns interests in ethanol plants in Sterling and Yuma in northeast Colorado and in Bridgeport. He said drag racing is a great stage to demonstrate ethanol’s merits.

 

“We like it because it’s American made,” he said. “It’s sweet stuff.”

 

The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board are sponsoring this weekend’s races. Both groups are looking for ways to raise ethanol’s profile among motorists, who enjoy price breaks when they buy ethanol blends at the pump. The federal subsidy that allows the price breaks expires Dec. 31, so corn and ethanol producers hope to sell consumers on other reasons for filling their tanks with the clean-burning, homegrown fuel.

 

Grady Koch of Upland, co-owner of Kearney Raceway Park, is the head of market and sponsor development for the drag strip. Koch said ethanol shines in a number of ways. Because it’s high octane, ethanol ignites in combustion chambers when it’s supposed to. That saves jarring wear and tear on engine parts.

 

Because it burns cooler, it reduces concerns about heat damage.

 

“Heat is the biggest contributing factor in ruining engines,” Koch said. “You’re burning a lot of fuel when you’re going down the track. At the end of a run you’ll notice you just had a great time, but your coolant isn’t red-lined.”

 

Ethanol is gaining believers in the racing world. Several years ago, Indianapolis 500 racers converted to ethanol. NASCAR burns blended fuel, and sprint cars may soon follow the Indy 500 lead by converting to 100-percent ethanol.

Koch said racers are coming from Denver, Chicago, Houston and Fargo, N.D., but a group from Indiana and Illinois that races muscle cars such as Corvettes, Chevelles and Camaros will be in Kearney expressly to demonstrate ethanol’s competitive advantages.

 

Duane Waldrop of Hobart, Ind., who will be driving one of the street-legal E-85 powered muscle cars, said he’s thrilled to make the 12-hour drive from Indiana if it wins converts for ethanol.

 

“Most people don’t believe us, that we can go that fast with the same stuff they put in their pickups,” he said. “When these cars leave the line, they do big wheelies. That proves how much power they have.”

 

Waldrop said that in addition to being environmentally friendly, ethanol is friendly to the wallet.

His 1967 Hugger orange Camaro gets about 5 mpg tooling around town. Launching at full power off the starting line, the 560-cubic-inch, 950-hp machine sucks down about one gallon of E-85 during an 8-second, 150-mph quarter-mile run.

 

Drag racers pay $12-$18 per gallon for race fuel, Waldrop said, but they can buy E-85 for about $3 per gallon.

 

“And it has the same octane ratings as race gas,” he said.

 

email to:

 

mike.konz@kearneyhub.com

 

 

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