Start Your Engines: Pocono Raceway Goes Green

When I think of NASCAR—and all those race cars speeding around the track—the thought, "This is environmentally friendly," never crosses my head. But, according to this Philly.com article, I may be wrong.

The Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, PA) boasts a 25-acre solar farm, and it was turned on last week for the Pennsylvania 500. The track has become the world's largest solar-powered sports facility. Here's how the article describes it:

That wasn't an issue at Pocono Raceway, where track owners installed its solar farm on a converted parking lot across the street from the 2.5 mile tri oval track. The 40,000 solar panels are arranged in groups in parallel rows, barely visible beyond fencing and a tree line from a road next to the track.

After Pocono's 3 megawatt system, the next biggest solar installation at a stadium is the 1.4 megawatt roof at Kaohsiung Stadium in Taiwan, according to Seth Masia, deputy editor of Solar Today, the magazine of the American Solar Energy Society.

This isn't NASCAR's only venture into green practices:

NASCAR touts that it's had green practices in place for years, some for two decades, including shredding and recycling used tires; capturing and recycling oils, fluids and batteries; and planting 10 trees for every Sprint Cup series race. NASCAR says such plantings mitigate 100 percent of the carbon produced from the race cars.

NASCAR uses 135,000 gallons of fuel per race, which is nothing compared to the 9 million barrels per day of gasoline used by all U.S. citizens. Read the article for more info on how other sports go green.