E15 to Fuel NASCAR in 2011 - NASCAR officials announced Saturday in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Time Warner Media Center that it will race with E15 fuel beginning next season.

E15 is a 15% ethanol blend fuel made solely from domestic ethanol sources. It will be used in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series beginning at Daytona in February.

“This is going to be cleaner burning. From a performance standpoint, it’s going to be better, and more important, we take another step today,” NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France said. “This is the most visible thing we can do to let our partners and fans know that NASCAR is taking a slow and steady march (toward becoming a green company).”

While France and Sunoco Senior Vice President Bob Owens agreed there was no clear way to quantify the environmental benefit, they said it was clear there was one. An added benefit is the increase in horsepower teams have reportedly seen in test sessions with the new E15 fuel.

“It’s too early to quote horsepower numbers, but across the board it’s been up,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president for competition. “The teams say this will be a seamless change.”

Wounded Warrior - In 2008, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Angie Kearns was injured in Iraq. Sent home to nurse a shoulder injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, Kearns had some dark days. But those days were a world away Saturday in the Time Warner Media Center at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where she was almost giddy with excitement.

“This is the most amazing thing ever,” Kearns said. “I am such a NASCAR fan. And when we came in today, there was a marching band. I’ve never seen a marching band for soldiers. I’m tough and I never cry, but I cried when I saw that.”

Kearns is one of the many soldiers helped by the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization to help injured servicemen and servicewomen. Kearns and fellow injured serviceman Daniel Smith were in town for the conclusion of the Soldier Ride bicycling event, a nationwide program that helps soldiers reclaim confidence and strength through cycling, which ended its Charlotte leg at the superspeedway. The participants will take a Champions Lap on their bikes during pre-race ceremonies and then will stay for the race.

And that’s the best news for Kearns, who got hooked on NASCAR while rehabilitating from her injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

“When this came up, I was like, ‘I’m in,’” said Kearns, a Tony Stewart fan. “I watch every race, and if I can’t watch it live, I tape it. I’d ride to the moon and back to be here.”

NMPA - The National Motorsports Press Association had its annual fall meeting Saturday in the Time Warner Media Center at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Members discussed several issues and nominated people for various offices with elections soon to follow. Rea White of FOXSports.com was the only person nominated as president to replace Landmark Newspapers' Dustin Long, whose term will expire after this season. Media members interested in more information about NMPA should contact Long at Dustin.Long@news-record.com or (704) 875-8337.