Monday, July 10, 2006

Alternative fuels research: Git 'er done!

I'm going to propose my solution to two of our great problems in the year 2006: The fact that alternative fuels are just some daydream instead of something that chemists, mechanics, and engineers are furiously working to develop; and that NASCAR has turned into a redneck soap opera by homogenizing the irrelevant vehicles into true anonymity.

The 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup winner will be powered by a different alternative fuel at every single racetrack.

Consider this: The reason that Auto Makers sponsor racing in the first place is so that they have a testing lab for their cutting-edge technology. Being a redneck myself, I have a hard time facing that fact that less than 1/10 of 1% of all vehicles on the road are powered by a 358 cubic inch engine fed by 114 octane supergas. To continue developing technology to burn 114 octane supergas is a waste of time and money.

I propose a rotation of renewable, alternative fuels be featured at every single NASCAR track in the 2007 season. This fuses my undying love of capitalism with cutting-edge science and technology. The problem with federal funding to develop technology is that you get "government" grade effort done on a "government" grade schedule. NASCAR holds gigantic purses for those truly brilliant mechanics and engineers who can figure out how to not only crank out mind-blowing power, but also deliver that power in an efficient enough manner to take the checkered flag.

Besides, I'd pick the guy with 12 cars in his front yard that he's used for parts to fix the 3 actually functional vehicles to build a better engine than those bench-racing champions in academia. Crack open another 18-pack of Icehouse, shave a #3 into your back hair, and get your wife an oversized Jeff Gordon t-shirt that covers the FUPA (and/or the BIF), and watch as America races into the age of renewable resources!


BigNewsDay said...

Now, I happen to enjoy me some good 'ol redneck racin'. BTW, NASCAR will be switching to ethanol next year.

BlackLabelAxe said...

I read that it was only the Trucks, and only on a few racetracks.

I'm saying that they need to dramatically differentiate the fuel type from race to race. One weekend, do E85. One weekend, do methanol. Liquified coal, gasohol, and ultimately hydrogen will follow. Hell, even a biodiesel race would be awesome. It'd be slightly slower, but it'd beat the idea out of people's heads that diesel vehicles have to be slow.

Yeah, I'm saying that NASCAR would do its fans and the rest of America a huge favor by borrowing a page from "Junkyard Wars". The field is all driving the same car today, and it's boring. Race teams spend millions to come up with an additional 1/2 HP in the Cup cars.

Those folks at Roush Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, and all the other all-stars are the people that we need developing relevant technology. Using NASCAR as a vehicle is ideal because the innovators get paid huge sums of money to do it quickly, and the fans still get to see the best drivers in the world.

BigNewsDay said...

I know I had heard them talking about running ethanol, but I can't find anything about it now besides the fact they are being pressured by GM and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)to make the switch. Here is an article from MSNBC that discusses the issue.

MSNBC Article

BTW, the IRL has started to use ethanol and will be 100% ethanol in 2007. Way to Go Indy Cars!

BlackLabelAxe said...

Idea 1, part II:

All the federal funding for alternative fuels gets dumped right into the NASCAR winner's purse.

All you have to do is agree to full disclosure of technical specs. This would blow the door wide open for OEM's to build these cars.

Hybrid cars are stupid. They are battery-powered roadkill. You'd think differently of driving a green car if you had 400 HP under your foot, now wouldn't you?

NASCAR can create the demand!

BigNewsDay said...


ken hawk said...

i DonT get iT why caNT we jUSt have realizstic alternative energy. like, i have one of Teh ballcaps with teh plasTiC helicopTer proppellers on top, and i waer it whenevER i gO roller skating down the block, and it nEVer gets windy enouGH to really get teh thing going. buT if w made a bigger propepller, dAMn That wouLd rock, i coUld reaslly see thaT working.


ken hawk said...

... or , maybE noT.

KEn HAgk

Bushwack said...

Mmmm Great idea, and kudos to nascar. As I have always said when the shit hits the fan find a redneck.
Good post mr. Black.
We shall see if the gov really want to move into the next phase of power transmition.

BlackLabelAxe said...

Thanks, Bushwack

I talked to some of my friends about it today who are dedicated to NASCAR, and watch every race on TV all weekend.

They were against it at first, but then the more we talked about it, the more they liked it. I say we give our top-notch mechanics a challenge a little bit more noble than squeezing another 1/4 HP out of an engine, as per NASCAR's ridiculous rulebook.

I cannot emphasize enough how much better motorsports mechanics are suited to the development of green cars than university researchers. Give me a 55-gallon drum of the fuel, 2 cases of beer, and a garage, and I'll make a car that will stomp some dino-sauce ass.

A race is exactly what this energy crisis is all about. We have to race for alternatives before OPEC puts us "over a barrel" again. Imagine bringing THAT to the table with Iran. Where would they get money to enrich uranium if we didn't need the black gold beneath their feet?

BlackLabelAxe said...


Are you okay man?

ken hawk said...

ibe been nbetter. i was in downtown chicago teh other day when i ran into soem gang memebrs in an alley. i thoUGht if i look ed all tough and thrEw out some street cred maybe theyd leave me alone, so i identifuied myself as "ice pube".
157 stiTchEs this time.

kn HEahAwak

Bushwack said...

ROTFLMAO Man this Ken is a funny guy.