msnbc | April 19, 2012
>>> revving up for another big race this weekend in kansas. the sprint cup , 43 drivers taking to the speedway in kansas city for a 400- mile high octane race. octane gas is not exactly cheap or green, so what is nascar doing to change all of that? joining me to talk about their plans for earth day is nascar chairman and ceo, brian france . brian, it's great to see you this morning. thanks for being here.
>> good to be here. thanks for having me.
>> when people think earth day and nascar , a little bit of an oxymoron for some people, but these are green initiatives you've been trying to implement the fifth year, correct? so what changes are there?
>> a lot, starting with the fuel that we'll run, this is an ethanol biofuel. we're in our second year. we run two million miles , proving a lot of myths about that particular biofuel, what it can and can't do and a host of other things. you know, we're going to celebrate earth day with planting trees. we're the largest recycler in all of sports, real proud of that. and we're the only ones in sports that have an entire facility and a region powered by solar, so -- in pennsylvania. so there's a number of initiatives that we're doing to change that perception about nascar being green and being in step.
>> one thing that i think people -- the obvious draw for nascar is the speed. cars going up to about 500 miles an hour, right?
>> that is going to burn a lot of fuel going that fast. but talking about fuel efficiency and the larger conversation, not just even from nascar but allowing people that are there to know the actions that nascar is trying to take to recognize what it can do, is that also trying to send a message to the fans of nascar , what you guys are doing, how they can implement simple steps in their own life for going green ?
>> absolutely. we do it with our partners too. the car manufacturers . we have four of the largest with ford and toyota, gm and so on. we're in step with all the things they're doing with technology. we have a big carbon footprint that moves, energy footprint that moves from race to race so we're doing -- the facilities are doing many, many things to offset that. and we're real proud of it. we've got a long way to go. our partners, coca-cola and many others are all with us and we're marching to being smart and being green as we possibly can be.
>> i want to talk to you about nascar ads. they became begin in 2004 . they do exist and this is an area of interest for politicians. you know, you've gone to the white house . mitt romney has come to see the crowds. where do you think nascar dads, the nascar fans fall within the political cycle this year?
>> we're not a political institution but we have 75 million fans. tens of thousands of them are concentrated at one race or another. so we tend to get a lot of interest in that and they vote. so it's certainly a part of the process .
>> there's tony stewart at the white house right there, so the president showing his support for nascar . i know mitt romney has come out and they'll probably be coming to see you again for sure. brian, thanks so much. i really appreciate it. have fun this weekend in kansas city .