With gas prices on the rise, alternatives are always on people's minds. On Saturday and Sunday, a group of cars from Indiana came to Kearney Raceway Park to help show that ethanol is a viable alternative.
"Ethanol has never been given the fair shake as being tested as a fuel, but we can do that through performance, and show people that it really does work as a whole fuel and not just as a fuel additive," says Dan Schwartzkopf of ICM, Inc., a renewable energy company.
The cars are part of the 2012 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) National Open. The specially modified cars run on E85 and can go up to 180 mph in what is billed as "8 seconds of corn-fed madness."
Experts note that even big racing leagues such as NASCAR have adopted ethanol as their fuel of choice, in part due to the higher octane. And while the jury is still out on whether ethanol is truly cleaner than gasoline, advocates say it's at least helping decrease dependency on foreign oil.
Schwartzkopf says that ethanol has been useful "in displacing the amount of oil that comes from foreign sources and stuff, and we've become more energy independent."
Ethanol also has a special place in Nebraska, the nation's second largest ethanol producer.
"It's an important part of the state's economy. It takes feedstock that we grown in abundance, corn, and we're able to process it and add value by making a variety of other products including ethanol," says Todd Sneller of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.
And advocates hope that will help more Nebraskans choose ethanol.