Penske Racing

Fueling a Sustainable Future

September 8, 2023

A valued history is at the core of Team Penske’s and Penske Corporation’s overall success story, still there is always a focus on the future to continue propelling new victories on and off the racetrack; and that includes staying at the forefront of sustainability efforts to fuel an even better future.

Starting this weekend, all Team Penske tractors (haulers/transporters) and support equipment across NASCAR, INDYCAR and SportsCar series will be fueled by renewable diesel. Renewable diesel is a drop-in fuel that can be used in place of conventional petroleum diesel, providing a much more sustainable alternative to other fuel types. As the trucking industry moves toward zero-emission vehicles, renewable diesel is helping bridge the gap without the extra equipment and infrastructure costs that may be required to support alternative vehicles like battery electric and hydrogen. The use of renewable diesel shows drops of more than 60 percent in greenhouse gas emissions.

The transition to renewable diesel across Team Penske’s series transportation and competition resources is a first for motorsports teams. It’s another way the team is implementing sweeping changes dedicated to increase sustainability efforts already in progress including race shop decarbonization and advanced waste and emissions tracking; a dedicated program to outfitting employees with recycled, reusable water bottles and increased refillable water bottle stations throughout the Mooresville, North Carolina facility; as well as the use of recycled materials in Team Penske and Porsche Penske Motorsport fan merchandise.

In 2022, INDYCAR also announced significant steps to a more sustainable future with the introduction of 100 percent renewable fuel for all competition in the 2023 season, as well as outfitting INDYCAR team transporters with renewable diesel. The shift by Team Penske to all series tractors and support equipment continues to expand upon that impact.

Leaders from Team Penske, Penske Corporation and Penske Transportation Solutions shared their thoughts on this unprecedented journey and the comprehensive benefits that renewable diesel extends across sustainability, competition, and overall infrastructure to the Penske family of companies. 

Chris Yoder – Director of Transportation, Team Penske

Q. The move to renewable diesel compared to other biofuels seems seamless. Would you agree?

A. The move to renewable diesel could not have been more seamless. I think back to the huge struggle that synthetic oil had while it was being introduced in the automotive industry, especially with it being compared to conventional motor oil. The efficiency and the ability to intermix makes the transition an absolute no-brainer. We’re fortunate to partner with our friends at Penske Transportation Solutions and be on the forefront of this new cutting-edge, environmentally friendly renewable diesel fuel.

Q. Managing a large fleet of vehicles can be a challenge. How does it feel knowing that the products used across Team Penske not only make for a more sustainable future, but also keep the organization competitive?

A. When we had our conversation with the transportation staff to discuss renewable diesel and brief them on all the highlights and benefits, it was a very easy discussion. The benefits were clear, and they picked up on both the immediate and long-term impact right away. We’re fortunate to give public exposure to the new technology via our transportation fleet, whether it be safety, efficiency, reliability, or performance. This is another opportunity for us to be an ambassador for progress across the industry and beyond.  

Q. What does it mean for Penske to be an early adopter?  

A. We’re very fortunate to have all the various resources at our fingertips, while being ambassadors for these sustainable and innovative initiatives. It’s all made possible and driven by Roger Penske and his passion for being at the forefront of technology and efficiency. We’re lucky to have someone willing to make the investment to decrease our carbon footprint.

Bill Combs – Vice President of Sustainability, Penske Corporation

Q. As one of the most visible pieces of the Penske brand, what does it mean for our race haulers to carry renewable diesel?

A. Renewable diesel is a true drop-in fuel that delivers optimal vehicle performance and reduces well-to-wheel emissions by 60-80 percent. This means we can start the process of decarbonizing now, while low and zero emission technologies are refined and perfected. We’re making investments now to decarbonize our fleet emissions over the long-haul.

Q. Can you talk about how something like renewable fuels fits into Penske Corporation’s long term sustainability plans?

A. Decarbonizing transportation across sectors is Penske’s long-term strategy and full decarbonization won’t happen overnight. Renewable fuels have been in-play at Penske for decades. Penske Truck Leasing has moved to renewable diesel at every fueling location in California and we’re now moving the same fuel into our Oregon locations. Penske Entertainment enabled all INDYCAR race team’s access to renewable diesel in 2022 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in select race locations throughout the season. All INDYCAR race fuel is 100 percent renewable and is produced mainly from second generation sugar cane ethanol. Now Team Penske has deployed renewable diesel for its race haulers across all series.

Q. What does it mean for Penske to be an early adopter?  

A. Our partners, customers, fans and associates expect high standards and expert insights from Penske. By experimenting with all new vehicle technologies, as early as possible, we’re able to test and learn with the intent to pass our expertise along to our stakeholders.  

Josh Tippin – Vice President of Fuel and Energy, Penske Transportation Solutions

Q. What are the long-term benefits of renewable diesel?

A. Renewable diesel has many positive attributes compared to conventional diesel. It makes the engine more efficient, a greenhouse gas reduction of around 60 percent, and the maintenance costs are lower due to it being a much cleaner burning fuel.

Q. Where are other places/instances where we may see renewable diesel used?

A. We are seeing it predominately used in California by a lot of retail stations. At Penske, we’re using it in all our stations, particularly in both California and Oregon. We use it exclusively in our Penske transportation and truck leasing locations. Besides having it available at the race shop, it’s also been available at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for INDYCAR teams since 2022.

Q. What does it mean for Penske to be an early adopter?

A. With Penske having such a large footprint, we’ve vetted the product and it’s OEM approved. We hope by us using the product it’ll take some of the questions and unknowns for others to join the overall efforts to a more sustainable future.

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