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SeC 05-04-2006 07:14 AM

IndyCar Series switching to BioEthanol in '06
IndyCar Series switching to BioEthanol in '06 news services

WASHINGTON -- Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis 500 will soon become Ethanol Alley: The Indy Racing League is switching from methanol to a new mixture relying on corn-derived ethanol.

The league's IndyCar Series will start using an ethanol blend for the 2006 season, the league said Wednesday.

It's a small market for ethanol, involving 160,000 gallons out of 3.5 billion produced each year. But it's a big symbolic gesture meant to counter perceptions that ethanol doesn't perform as well as gasoline or other fuels.

"It's a performance fuel that's going to go around the track at 220 miles an hour,'' said Dave Vander Griend, president of ICM Inc., a Kansas company that builds ethanol plants.

The corn and ethanol industries have influential supporters who pushed to get the grain alcohol into race cars.

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