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Notebook: American Ethanol partners with Iowa Speedway

The SportsXchange

By K.J. Pilcher, Special for NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by SportsXchange

NEWTON, Iowa -- Representatives of American Ethanol and Iowa Speedway announced Sunday that American Ethanol will be the title sponsor for both NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series events at the 0.875-mile track this season.

The track will host the first American Ethanol 200 on July 14. The second American Ethanol 200 will be held Sept. 15. It is the first season Iowa Speedway has hosted two NCWTS races.

"We have to have good sponsors," Iowa Speedway Board of Directors Chairman Conrad Clement said before the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Pioneer Hi-Bred 250. "We have to have significant sponsors. They spend significant dollars; it costs a lot of money to run the races and to get NASCAR and IndyCar in here you've got to have people like this. We're just glad to have them step up."

Two years ago, NASCAR announced a switch to 15-percent ethanol blend, strengthening a relationship with American Ethanol. The Iowa Corn Growers Association has had a strong partnership with the Central Iowa track, dating back to its first IndyCar event.

"All these series have ethanol in it," ICGA CEO Craig Floss said. "The great thing about Iowa Speedway is there isn't one race out here that you can come to that doesn't include American Ethanol.

"It's great for our industry. It's great for the racing world. It's great to be green and for the environment."

AUSTIN DILLON ON STEADY CLIMB

From bloodlines to finish lines, Austin Dillon is not the average rookie.

The 22-year-old grandson of famed owner Richard Childress and youngest NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series champion is considered one this season.

Dillon finished fourth Sunday at Iowa Speedway, leaving him third in the Nationwide Series standings, trailing Elliott Sadler by 15 points and leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 43. He continues to lead the rookie of the year standings by a sizable amount over Cole Whitt.

"The biggest thing is we're learning each race," Dillon said. "We're getting better and better, learning how to adjust these cars throughout the race."

Dillon has almost as many Nationwide starts this season as he has had the previous four years (11). He has six top-five finishes, and Sunday's fourth-place run matched his season-best effort in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in March.

He has become a student of the sport, studying each experience to prepare himself for the next test. The team continues to make progress.

"It goes in our notebook," Dillon said. "You have to make sure that notebook is thick and full so when you come back the next year you can really dominate or the second time you come back to these tracks so you know what you're getting into."
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