DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Thirty days, six figures and one goal -- achieved with intense commitment to an unprecedented call-to-action across all NASCAR stakeholders.
NASCAR Race to Green?, a month-long initiative that galvanized teams, tracks, drivers, official NASCAR partners and most importantly fans, resulted in more than 150,000 trees being planted across the country, including in areas affected by natural disasters.
As part of its centennial anniversary, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has partnered with NASCAR to help offset the carbon footprint of fans attending all NASCAR-sanctioned races across the Commonwealth of Virginia at Martinsville Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia International Raceway in Alton and South Boston Speedway in 2013. The VDOF and NASCAR partnered to sign a voluntary, three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines VDOF's commitment to pledge trees throughout a number of state forests.
NASCAR teams and drivers did their part throughout the month with more than 90 percent of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams featuring the NASCAR Green logo on the b-post of their race cars, supported by exposure from FOX Sports and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer for Toyota and Front Row Motorsports driver David Ragan for UPS, attended events that encouraged fans to pledge trees. On Earth Day the NASCAR Foundation, Sprint, UPS and New Holland joined to support a park restoration project in the Kansas City area with the Student Conservation Association and the Arbor Day Foundation.
The month of April also marked the launch of the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS. In a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, UPS committed to plant more than 8,000 trees in 2013 ? including 90 in each market where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the remainder of the season. As part of the program, a number of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks planted trees in their local community, including: Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. Pocono Raceway and UPS also made a donation of 13,000 trees that were planted at the Flight 93 Memorial National Parks Service facility in Shanksville, Pa.
"The extent to which our fans and the industry collectively rallied to positively impact the environment was overwhelming," said Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR managing director of Green Innovation. Citing an April 2013 study of the Official NASCAR Fan Council, Lynch expanded, "three out of four avid NASCAR fans are now aware of NASCAR Green and believe NASCAR cares about the environment."
NASCAR Official Partners were among the main contributors to NASCAR Race to Green, rallying around the initiative through a series of unique activations, a commitment to pledge trees, and participation in a number of events that took place throughout the month of April. Partners taking an active role included:
3M -- donated a tree for every lap run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
American Ethanol -- donated a tree for every mile raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Axalta Coating Systems -- donated trees for every lap Jeff Gordon led while driving the CromaxPro car
Coors Light -- Miss Coors Light encouraged fans to plant trees and recycle at track.
Creative Recycling Systems -- donated trees for every green flag waived in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Exide Batteries -- donated trees for every 10 tons of recyclable material it collected companywide.
Featherlite Trailers -- donated trees for every Featherlite-transported driver who won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Ford Motor Company -- donated a tree for every lap a Ford Racing driver led in the Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Freightliner Trucks -- donated trees for every Freightliner driver that won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Green Earth Technologies -- donated trees for every green flag lap of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Liberty Tire Recycling -- committed to plant trees in multiple locations in 2013.
M&M's -- committed to plant trees at the new Mars Chocolate North America production facility in Topeka.
Sprint -- Sprint employees planted trees on Earth Day at Weston State Park in Kansas.
Sunoco -- donated trees to represent the number of pit stops across all three NASCAR national series.
Toyota -- throughout all three NASCAR national series, donated trees for every Toyota in Victory Lane, every Toyota driver who captured the Coors Light Pole Award, every lap led by a Toyota driver
and for every caution lap in which the Toyota Camry paced.
UPS -- donated thousands of trees to areas impacted by natural disasters and to the Flight 93 Memorial site.
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX, FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
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