Fuel Efficiency Wins the Day
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended a string of 2 years and 76 races without a win by using a few tips that are well known to hypermilers (people who try to get the very best fuel economy possible from their cars).
Careful driving, lots of coasting, cutting the engine, pulse & glide, and other hypermiling tricks allowed Earnhardt to do the final 55 laps - 110 miles - without stopping for gas. That's 6 more laps than he would normally have been able to do. He even crossed the finishing line while coasting, and ran out of fuel soon afterwards.
Why this kind of Hypermiling Matters
Motor racing has some green elements, but overall it's definitely not very green. But the fuel used by the race cars is very tiny when compared with the fuel used by the millions of racing fans. If a story about fuel efficiency and hypermiling gets attention and can make some of these people reconsider how they drive and the important of fuel efficiency (and with high gas prices, that's already happening on its own), then that's a good thing.
We're pragmatic, and we doubt that racing is going away any time soon, so the more it can be used as a platform to reach people - like when the Planet Green TV crew dropped by the Indy 500 - the better.
Hypermiling, Fuel Efficiency, and how to Save on Gas
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Drafting Behind Trucks: Does it Work?
Learn Why Driving at a Relatively Constant Speed is Greener
More on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s NASCAR Hypermiling
arnhardt prevails on fumes at Michigan ahead of Kahne, Kenseth
Dale Earnhardt Jr Hypermiles to Victory in NASCAR Racing