Thanks to growing environmental concerns and economic forces, 97% of fuel currently pumped in the U.S. is up to 10% ethanol. For a few reasons, ethanol in gas is a hot-button issue for some folks; search for an article on the topic and your chances of finding one that balances both sides of the aisle are pretty slim. But, while many drivers are familiar with Flex Fuel vehicles, which run on a fuel made of 85% ethanol, fewer realize that the gasoline they’re already putting in their cars is partially made from corn.
I know, it brings in a lot of money even though attendance keeps dropping. It’s a spectacle, yes, though so was throwing Christians to the lions. It takes some skill to drive 200 mph in a pack. Skill does not equate to sport.
The recent series of fiascos at the Daytona 500 just confirms what we all know from watching South Park’s 2010 send-up of NASCAR (wherein Cartman gets Vagisil to sponsor his car after he ingests a tube to make him stupid).
The race was first postponed because of rain, which the media made much of (“first time in 54 years the race has been postponed!”). They also made a continual big deal over Danica Patrick, who’s pretty but not a very good driver. Where are the black drivers, by the way?
Anyway, after a restart, one Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a track dryer that spilled 200 gallons of jet fuel and caused a massive fire and a two-hour cleanup. Then more crashes, 12 caution flags, and more left-turning in cars that all look the same and use old technology to keep speeds down.
If we needed more proof of the travesty NASCAR racing has become, we got it last Friday when Kyle Busch (above, center) drove a competitor into the wall—while the caution light was on.
The scene was one of NASCAR’s ridiculous truck races at the Texas Motor Speedway. Here’s the nutshell of the story, as Autoweek had it:
Busch was suspended for intentionally crashing four-time champion Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution early in Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race. They banged together moments earlier, when Hornaday moved up the track just slightly to clear a lapped car, forcing Busch lightly into the outside wall. When the caution waved and the pace slowed, Busch repeatedly banged into the back of Hornaday’s truck until they both crashed heavily.
See video after the break.
Busch was suspended for the remainder of the race and two more on Sunday. He should have been booted for the season, because the guy has a long history of bad behavior on and off the track.
On the list of things that make America great, the Bill of Rights would seem to rank pretty darn near the top, right?
Sure, there are some modern feats of awesomeness that might outrank the freedom of the press and the right to bear arms, but I would assume that duct tape probably wouldn’t be one of those things.
Fortune seems to disagree. The financial magazine has published its top 100 things about America, and duct tape (number 16) outranks the Bill of Rights (number 17). That should be the first clue that the majority of this list is exceptionally cheesy, even listing Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Gmail, the Grand Canyon and Geico commercials above the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.