The official estimate is 6000 gallons of racing fuel per race, including the preliminaries and practice races. This is quite a lot, but it pales in comparison to the amount of fuel used daily by airplanes and passenger cars.
The average stock car gets between 4-6 mpg, let’s assume 5 mpg per gallon for calculating purposes– most of the races are 500 miles, there are a few that are 400 and a few that are 600, but we will again for calculating purposes say an average of 500 miles. That would be 100 gallons per car, 43 cars in each race, and 36 races per year… that gives you 154,800 gallons per year total.
These numbers would only include NASCAR Sprint Cup and only fuel used during the actual race. This would not include practice, qualifying, testing, or the other levels of NASCAR — Nationwide which was once the Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Trucks, and the many levels below that on your local short tracks.
Interesting to note: NASCAR just made the switch recently from leaded to unleaded fuel in February 2007. IndyCar uses 100% ethanol and are also looking into biodiesel and other renewables.
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