Ethanol Powers Minnesota Stock Car Driver to Jam the Stands Victory in Alexandria

Justin Vogel runs on ethanol and won the Jam the Stands race at Viking Speedway on July 27. (Photo courtesy of Viking Speedway's website)

Justin Vogel runs on ethanol and won the Jam the Stands race at Viking Speedway on July 27. (Photo courtesy of Viking Speedway’s website)

Justin Vogel needed to pass 15 other cars in order to win the street stock feature race at Viking Speedway in Alexandria on Saturday, July 27. One by one, Vogel and his ethanol-powered yellow No. 10 Brooten Auto car roared past the other drivers and cruised into victory lane.

It was Vogel’s fourth win of the season. This victory came on Jam the Stands night with several Minnesota corn farmers at the track promoting clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol with race fans. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is sponsoring nine Jam the Stands races this summer — providing free admission for race fans and a chance to learn more about ethanol blended fuels.

Vogel began Saturday’s race in the 16th starting position — dead last. He made his big move around lap seven of the 12-lap race, took the lead a few laps later, and held on for the win after a caution flag preceded the final two laps.

More torque was one of the reasons Vogel decided to start racing with ethanol (E98) this summer. It’s also made his engine run cooler.

“A hole got poked in the radiator during a race and we didn’t even notice. The engine was just fine.” Vogel said. “When I pull in and I don’t have to cool the car down when it’s 90 degrees out, a lot of heads turn.”

Vogel’s ethanol-powered win came just a few days after American Ethanol driver Austin Dillon won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ Mudsummer Classic in Ohio.

Vogel has been racing since 2006 and works as a mechanic in Brooten when he’s not on the track. He’s seen plenty of misconceptions about ethanol over the years.

“When it became more public that ethanol was added to gas, it seemed like people started blaming whatever was going on in their cars on the ethanol,” he said. “It’s kind of a scapegoat.”

As the raceing season continues, more drivers are asking Vogel about ethanol. “There’s definitely a lot of interest,” he said. “It’s been positive for us so far and we’ve been sharing our experiences with other drivers.”

There are only two Jam the Stands races left: Jackson Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 3 and a special Farmfest race at Redwood Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 7. Race fans get in free and Minnesota corn farmers will be on hand to share information about clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol.

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