America’s economic crisis is surely taking its toll in every aspect of America. Seems like nothing is safe: not jobs, not businesses, not even America’s biggest and most popular motorsport, NASCAR.
But the recession may just have a positive effect—especially if we consider NASCAR’s latest announcement. Environmentalist will certainly nod their heads their approval when they know that last January 22nd, NASCAR chairman Brian France and seven of his upper management team explained how their sport, which as we all know is quite expensive, will survive the effects of the nation’s economic slump: going green.
You heard that right. Committing to environmental initiatives is one of the main strategies that NASCAR will adapt to minimize racing costs, and perhaps, to interest more sponsors.
“We want to do our part to be a better partner with the environment,” France said. “It’s really important to our fans, and they’ve told us that not only are they concerned about preserving the environment, but they’re also concerned about high fuel costs, global warming and energy independence.”
Mike Lynch is now NASCAR’s managing director for green campaigns. He would handle the improvisation of the sport’s environmental policies to help reduce “this big energy footprint we carry from market to market.”
According to France, meeting with environmental activists and former vice president Al Gore last summer inspired his ideas on “being greener and smarter.”
Of course, there are some misgivings about NASCAR’s proclamations. As most of us are aware, the league just switched to unleaded gas only a couple of years back, and a lot of motor enthusiasts expressed the opinion that NASCAR is just trying to scrounge up sponsors from the intrigue. France’s motives may be misguided, but it’s good to know that NASCAR is finally doing something that should’ve been done long ago—taking a step towards greener, environment-sensitive racing.
Furthermore, this move may just prompt other leagues, pro and amateur, to follow suit. That can only be good, because we racers can now have a good time doing what we love best, AND be good to the environment.