Seven motorsports facilities operated by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) received the NASCAR Green track operator award during the recent 2013 NASCAR Green Summit.
The award recognizes motorsports facilities for ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices. Now in its fifth consecutive year, the 2013 NASCAR Green Summit examined the substantive initiatives that have helped NASCAR make notable strides toward reducing the impacts of its sporting events nationwide.
These facilities were recognized for their individual efforts:
Auto Club Speedway of Southern California
Auto Club of Speedway of Southern California (ACS) partnered with the local rail authority, Metrolink, to help reduce traffic at major event venues that are not served by regular public transit services. ACS also was recognized for diverting millions of gallons of sewer and wastewater it generates to California Steel Industries, which uses the water for the cooling process of steel manufacturing.
Darlington Raceway was lauded for its partnership with Clemson University to grow switchgrass on speedway grounds, which will later be used in production of bio-fuels.
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway (DIS) was recognized for the significant recycling and waste diversion efforts at its major motorsports events. In 2012, DIS, in partnership with Coca-Cola Recycling, recycled over 150 tons of cardboard, commingled mix material, steel and aluminum. DIS also participates in the NASCAR Green Clean Air program,which plants 10 trees for each Green Flag that drops during races, capturing 100 percent of the carbon produced by the on track racing at its events.
NASCAR Green recognized Kansas Speedway's significant support of its efforts during Earth Day. Kansas Speedway hosted the 2013 Green Energy Challenge — a program teaching local students about green efforts through environmental education.
Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway (MIS) was recognized for its wetland conservation efforts, maintaining around 200 acres of protected wetland in and around its facility. MIS also was extolled for its new solar-powered building, one of the largest producers of green energy in U.S. sports. The 31-suite building and track media center is outfitted with approximately 8,000-square feet of solar panels across the rooftop that generates about 70,000 kw per hour. MIS also featured a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in vehicle as its official pace car at both of its NASCAR weekend events.
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond International Raceway (RIR) was honored for its significant support of Race to Green and the Virginia Department of Forestry Initiatives, and for featuring a Ford Focus Electric, the first electric pace car.
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen International and NextEra Energy joined forces to launch a windmill project that will create a lasting renewable energy resource for the area. Approximately 50 turbines will be installed over the next two years, with each tower capable of powering 2,900 homes annually.
"Environmental sustainability is a way of doing business that strives to achieve the best possible outcome for the people whose lives we touch and the natural environment that we all depend on,” said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “It is a lifelong commitment and we are excited to report on further progress and improvements throughout our company."
In February, NASCAR released a white paper that said its NASCAR Green initiative has led to substantial sustainability gains in environmental improvement and technological advancement. The program was launched in 2008 after NASCAR created a department dedicated to the integration of environmentally sound practices within auto racing. Aware of its stigma as “the dirtiest sport in America,” NASCAR sought to change this image through thought leadership and influencer engagement.