This past weekend, the Green Grand Prix was held at Watkins Glen International, and, of course, Sunday was as Earth Day.

This was a tough spot for a lot of race fans – a desire to push how we use and where we obtain energy from into a technological construct that, on the surface, seems easy enough to implement. Even if you think Al Gore is a goof, I’m safe in saying that we’d all rather be energy independent rather than ship crates of cash to the Arabian Peninsula, or even break the money-leaching grip of local and regional power suppliers.

On the other hand, we really like gasoline-spitting, fire-belching race cars.

NASCAR found itself in an awkward position, since the STP 400 was held at Kansas Speedway. Activist groups love crucifying NASCAR as one of the worst sports on the planet, environmentally, not only because of more than 80 race cars will be running high octane gasoline, using petroleum-based lubricants and sometimes literally burning rubber – which is kind of why race fans love the sport – but because of the traffic produced by the events. Thousands of cars, trucks, vans and rigs all arriving at one point makes an environmentalist’s skin crawl.