Letters To The Editor – Dec. 15, 2010

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America The Beautiful

For those of us who watched the NASCAR Sprint Cup awards banquet, there was one segment that brought the house down — Martina McBride singing “America the Beautiful.” She was so great. It made my eyes leak.

I have always said this is the song that should be our national anthem. It talks about what a great, beautiful country we live in. “The Star Spangled Banner” is about war. Listen to the words of each one. A good share of the world thinks we are all about war.

Bill Wendt, Cape Coral, Fla.

Ethanol Clarification

The recent opinion in Public Forum (Who Needs Ethanol? Dec. 1) is riddled with inaccuracies about what increased levels of ethanol in their fuel will do for NASCAR and for America.

First, NASCAR’s decision to use Sunoco Green E15 will take the auto sport’s environmental commitment to the next level. Domestic ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy grown right here in America, helps create new green jobs and reduces our dependence on foreign oil – all while cleaning our skies. The latest research shows that ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 59 percent relative to gasoline.

Second, ethanol is more energy efficient to produce than conventional gasoline; for every one BTU put into creating ethanol, there is a 2.3 BTU return. Over the last two decades, engineering and chemical breakthroughs have produced significant energy gains in ethanol production, increasing energy efficiency and MPG. In fact, since NASCAR has moved to E15, its drivers have not detected any notable decline in MPG. Instead, they’ve seen an increase in horsepower, which isn’t surprising because ethanol is added to gasoline in order to increase the octane of our fuel.

Third, exhaustive data has proven that engine performance and durability do not suffer from higher ethanol blends. According to the EPA, E15 — a blend of 15-percent ethanol with gasoline — has no measurable impact on vehicle drivability or durability, and lower tailpipe emissions compared to conventional gasoline for more than 43 million cars on the road. NASCAR’s decision to use Sunoco Green E15 for the 2011 season should be a key validation of E15 as a fuel for all Americans.

Tom Buis, CEO, Growth Energy

Kill The Chase II

I have to 100 percent agree with Jack Tworek’s letter titled “Kill the Chase.” It really pains me to have to listen to Brian France (and the media) continually remind us how exciting the Chase is when, in my opinion, the old system would have made it much more exciting simply because we would have had different winners the last five years instead of Jimmie Johnson.

The IRL and F-1 had very dramatic finishes and used a season-long system without the gimmicks, so why couldn’t NASCAR (and NHRA as well) do the same?

The other thing that NASCAR does that affects its credibility is to attempt to inject drivers into its system based on attracting fans at the expense of people who have devoted their careers to be a NASCAR driver.

Now in addition to Danica Patrick, we have motorcycle riders, skateboarders and foreign-born drivers being given opportunities that others with more talent and skills can only dream of.

Mike Burris, Huntington Beach, Calif.

A 10-Race Champion

I agree with Jack Tworek’s letter — a Chase champion is only a 10-race champion and should not be considered equal to the previous Cup champions.

Just for grins, I compared the Chase Champions to who would have won the Cup if there had been no Chase. The Chase champions are: Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson (five times). If I did my math right, the potential Cup champions would have been: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

What a difference. And NASCAR would be a lot more interesting to watch.

Tom Parrish, Tullahoma, Tenn.

London’s Right On

Gary London was right on the mark in his assessment of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Of course, Junior isn’t trying anymore. Why should he? To get a pot of money handed to him for doing nearly nothing is everyone’s dream, especially if it means not having to stick your neck out in something as hazardous as auto racing.

When will Dale Earnhardt, Sr.’s. fans realize their man isn’t coming back and that his son isn’t worthy of his mantle?

Poor Jimmie Johnson has accomplished more than Junior could ever hope, but he maybe wonders just what more he has to do to match his more popular teammate.

Hendrick Motorsports fired the more aggressive and ambitious Kyle Busch to make room for Junior? He’s nearly 40, but it appears Junior is still living the life of a 20-something, spoiled, swinging bachelor.

Doug Alborn, Tucson, Ariz.

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