Ethanol-themed "Tasseldega Nights" packs 'em in at Elko Speedway

Tasseldega Nights

Around 8,000 people came out for the first-ever Tasseldega Nights at Elko Speedway near the Twin Cities.

To accommodate the rush of people streaming into Elko Speedway on Saturday night for the first-ever “Tasseldega Nights,” an overflow parking lot had to be opened.

Then another overflow lot was opened.

And finally a third overflow lot became necessary.

In all, between 7,000 and 8,000 people attended “Tasseldega Nights” and received free admission to the races courtesy of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).

“It was a great night,” said Duane Frederickson of Elko Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier.”

Tasseldega Nights

Having fun in the Ag Cab Lab at Tasseldega Nights at Elko Speedway.

Corn farmers were pleased as well. The event gave farmers and MCGA staff a prime opportunity to connect with a Twin Cities metro area audience about clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol.

In addition to informational displays about corn farming and ethanol, race fans flocked to the Biofuels Mobile Education Center, drive a tractor in the Ag Cab Lab, get their picture in an ethanol-powered race car and check out some flex fuel vehicles.

One lucky person even won four tickets and pit passes for a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Tasseldega Nights

A little rain didn’t stop people from filing into Elko Speedway for Tasseldega Nighs on Saturday.

“Corn farmers need to take a positive message about ethanol directly to consumers,” said Chad Willis, a farmer in Willmar who is on the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council. “We can’t rely on others to do it for us. This was a great opportunity to talk ethanol and farming with a metro area audience.”

Tasseldega Nights is a fun way to show people — especially loyal race fans — how ethanol is better for the air we breathe and easier on our pocket books.”

Race fans also saw cars fueled by ethanol on the track. The inaugural Ethanol Cup is underway at Elko Speedway in the Super Late Model division. A special sticker around each car’s fuel tank indicates the driver’s participation in the Ethanol Cup.

Tasseldega Nights

Driving an ethanol racing simulator at Tasseldega Nights.

MCGA will be running another “Tasseldega Nights” event on July 19 at Deer Creek Speedway about 30 minutes south of Rochester. Admission is free and the fun starts at 1 p.m. with games, live music, a magic show for the kids and slingshot races.

Racing begins at 6 p.m. and everything that was on display for “Tasseldega Nights” at Elko Speedway will be there at Deer Creek.

For more information, go to the Tasseldega Night’s Facebook page. MCGA will also be giving away VIP suite passes before the race. Follow @MNCorn on Twitter and “like” Minnesota Corn on Facebook for details.

Come join Minnesota’s corn farmers for another night of ethanol-fueled racing and fun at Tasseldega Nights!

Tasseldega Nights

Obviously, the cars involved in this mishap are not using ethanol 🙂 Just kidding, a big thank you to all the drivers for entertaining the large crowd at Tasseldega Nights!

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