President Bush praises IRL's ethanol fuel initiative

Updated: July 19, 2006, 10:32 AM ET
Associated Press

Indy Racing League founder Tony George joined two-time series champion and current points leader Sam Hornish Jr. on a visit to the White House earlier this week, and President Bush took the opportunity to praise the IndyCar Series for its leadership in bringing the alternative fuel source ethanol to motorsports.

"You're the leading edge, leading edge," said Bush, who has touted exploration and support of alternative fuel sources in his State of the Union address the past two years.

The IRL is using a 10 percent ethanol, 90 percent methanol blend to fuel IndyCar Series cars this season, but will covert to 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol for all races in 2007, including the 91st Indianapolis 500.

Ethanol industry officials hope that fueling the IndyCar Series will help spread the word about ethanol's benefits as a motor fuel, not only in high-dollar Indy cars, but also in everyday sedans, minivans and SUVs.

"The IndyCar Series always has been recognized for its technical leadership in automobile racing and now it is the industry's leader in renewable and environmentally responsible energy," said Brian Barnhart, president of the IRL. "We are proud to partner with the ethanol industry to showcase a great American fuel source."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press