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Driver Kyle Petty, his #45 car shown here at the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevy Rock & Roll 400, says NASCAR's marketing horsepower might drive alternative fuels into the mainstream. - 


SCOTT JAGOW: Parking cars on the front lawn is frowned upon in many places, but they're doing it at the White House today. President Bush will check out some alternative-fuel vehicles. As you know, he's pushing for more corn-based ethanol in our gas tanks. And General Motors wants NASCAR to fuel up with ethanol. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sarah Gardner reports.

SARAH GARDNER: NASCAR just switched to unleaded gasoline last year.

Yet another switch to ethanol might not happen tomorrow, but a spokesman has been quoted saying NASCAR's willing to consider it.

The IndyCar Series has already decided to use the biofuel. GM's Dave Barthmuss says NASCAR could help bring ethanol into the mainstream.

DAVE BARTHMUSS: NASCAR has a huge, huge following of fans. And if we can show that hey, using E85 ethanol does not hurt the performance of a vehicle and they see their racing hero using it, it may get on their radar screen.

By 2012, Detroit's Big Three want half of their yearly production to be vehicles that can run on ethanol or biodiesel.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner