The engines were loud, the smiles were wide, and the ethanol information was prevalent on Saturday at Tasseldega Nights 2016 at Elko Speedway. More than 7,000 people turned out to watch a night of ethanol-powered racing, with free admission sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA).
If you weren’t able to attend, hopefully you have a good excuse. To bring you up to speed on what you missed, here are photos and a few stories from the evening:
Past MCGA President and Northfield farmer Bruce Peterson addressed the capacity crowd before racing began on Saturday. It’s not every day that a farmer has a few minutes to talk ethanol and farming in front of more than 7,000 people. Thank you, Bruce, for taking the time to promote homegrown biofuels and work being done on family corn farms throughout Minnesota.
The Biofuels Mobile Education Center (BMEC) is a 45-foot long traveling ethanol educational center on wheels. While the trailer and all the information, posters, photos and videos inside of it are cool, the best part of the BMEC experience is visiting with the corn farmers who travel with the trailer to events like Tasseldega Nights throughout the country. These farmers answer visitors’ ethanol questions and help spread the word about the environmental and economic benefits of homegrown biofuels.
Want to make a fun-filled MCGA-sponsored event even more fun? All you have to do is bring out Maizey! Maizey, along with her cousin Ted Tassel, spent Tasseldega Nights giving high fives, taking selfies, dancing, passing out ethanol-themed beads and turning up the fun level to at least 11. Did we mention dancing? Yes, dancing. Very cute dancing. Check it out.
How cool is this? Fans at Tasseldega Nights could climb into a U.S. Ethanol race car driven by Jonathan Olmscheid. Not only could fans get into Olmscheid’s car, they could also chat with the driver about the benefits of using higher ethanol blends.
The MCGA booth was hoppin’ at Tasseldega Nights. We gave away over 4,000 ethanol-themed beads and many other great items made from corn like mini-coolers and sun screen. Most importantly, we were able to interact with race fans and bring a positive and factual message about cleaner-burning ethanol and corn farming.
The Supermileage Challenge is a competition where teams of students build mini-cars to see how far they can travel on one gallon of fuel. The competition includes an ethanol class and the team from Braham High School (near Cambridge, Minn.) had their cars on display at Tasseldega Nights. A big thank you to the Braham team for coming out to Elko and best of luck in the Supermileage competition this summer.
The American Ethanol truck passing under the Homegrown Vrroooooom!!! ethanol billboard sponsored by the Steele County Corn Growers during the opening ceremonies of Tasseldega Nights 2016.