Ethanol fueled cars set to race in Kearney

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By Tim McNicholas

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Updated: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 06:41:30 CST

About 200 racers will compete in the Ignite Ethanol Open this weekend.

Greg Austin might not be a NASCAR professional...

But his car can race with the best of them.

And like many NASCAR drivers, he's in support of ethanol fuel.

Some of the racers in this weekend's event will use the corn–based product.

"It's a great thing for Nebraska and for the entire Midwest,” he said. “I think it needs to be pursued further."

Austin can't use ethanol this weekend because it's too harsh on his carburetor parts.

But he's been trying to find a way to make the change.

The Indy Racing League and NASCAR's fuel of choice is ethanol.

It creates less heat and more power.

Austin grew up near the track in Kearney.

He's been drag racing since he was a teenager...

"We plan on this every year,” he said.

Not all of the racers are from Nebraska.

The Kearney Raceway has been fielding questions from Iowa, Colorado and Kansas all week, from racers and race fans alike.

"My telephone's been ringing off the hook this week more than I can ever remember,” track manager Al Simmons said.

With a slick revamped track, new lights and an improved tower, the staff is expecting a record setting weekend.

A track surface like Kearney's is key for fast times.

You think you have a shot at the record?

"No. Haven't spent enough money yet (laughs)"

Time trials start Saturday at 10 a.m. 

Races run through Sunday.

More info is available www.krpi.com.

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