When one thinks of NASCAR, “green” and “sustainable” aren’t the first words to come to mind. As it turns out though, there are quite a few fans of the Chevy Volt in NASCAR circles, including owner Rick Henderson and driver Pablo Montoya.
All kidding aside, some of you might be surprised at how sustainable NASCAR is trying to become. When it was revealed that NASCAR team owner Rick Henderson was the highest bidder for the first Chevy Volt sold to the public, some eyebrows were raised. As it turns out, you don’t have to be some granola-munching hippie to appreciate that the Volt represents a major stepping stone in the automotive world. It’s a cool car, and a just a glimpse of what I am hoping GM has in store.
Henderson isn’t some lone sheep among a den of wolves though. NASCAR has also made other efforts towards greening up their act, including powering Pocono Raceway completely by solar panels, and collecting and recycling every drop of fluid spilled on race day. Yeah, they’re still burning off high-octane fuel at an incredible rate, but a recent change in fuel to include a 15% ethanol blend is just another of their efforts of at least trying to go green. And because they are reaching a far different (and much less eco-friendly) segment of the population, their efforts to go green may carry more influence than some give them credit for.
Now word comes from USA Today that Pablo Montoya has become an owner of the Chevy Volt. Montoya is a Colombian race car driver best known for jumping ship from Formula One to NASCAR a few years back. Montoya, who won both the Indy 500 and 24 Hours of Daytona on his first attempt, had this to say about the Volt;
It’s a four-seater car! It actually has a lot of space. It’s not a Ferrari. It’s a very different concept. It’s an amazing-looking car for what it is. I’m not a small car guy. It’s actually entertaining to drive. I like it. Am I going to be a Greenpeace guy? No, I’m a fuel junkie. But if you can help a little bit, why not? And have fun in the meanwhile.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think he gets it. I know who I will be rooting for this Sunday at the Indy 500.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.