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Republic Services' CNG truck takes to speedway, honors state's firefighters
Spectators at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe will watch the State Fair and racetrack history as the first-ever compressed natural gas (CNG) Pace Truck takes to the course.
"People come to the races to see something spectacular," said Mike Huycke, Republic Services' Northwest area president. "People in the racing industry appreciate technology. We are excited to showcase technology making a difference in our communities.
"This is an unusual and creative way to display the power of CNG. Our giant red, white and blue trucks are green through and through," he said. "Don't let the quiet engine fool you. This truck packs a lot of muscle."
The truck weighs in at 38,000 pounds, but it "treads lightly on the environment," added Huycke.
Converting one diesel truck to CNG is like taking the equivalent emissions of 325 cars off the highway every day. With one of the largest CNG fleets in Puget Sound, Republic reduces the equivalent emissions of millions of cars each year.
Republic Services' CNG pace truck will start the NASCAR races at 6 p.m. Saturday, driven by Scott Jennings, a longtime recycle truck driver.
One of several drivers representing the various divisions in Washington State, Jennings has received multiple awards for his excellent safety and employee records that span more than a decade. A die-hard NASCAR fan, he was thrilled to take a test lap with about 20 dragsters last week in preparation for Saturday's big night.
"It is a thrill to be on the track, my rear view mirror filled with race cars," Jennings said. "It was pretty surreal being followed by a long line of dragsters and I can only imagine how it's going to feel on Saturday."
Huycke, Jennings and Republic Services are proud to be supporters of the Evergreen State Fair in Snohomish County and ready for the NASCAR races on Saturday night.
Honoring Washington firefighters
At the start of both 50-lap NASCAR races, Republic Services' CNG recycle truck will fly a U.S. flag in tribute to the first responders who have valiantly battled a tough wildfire season this summer. The flag on display was flown on one of the rigs at the Taylor's Bridge fire.
Republic acquired the flag with the help of David Burke, fire chief for District 45 located in Duvall. Fire District 45 is one of many departments around the state who have sent volunteers to fight wildfires in Eastern Washington this summer.
"Republic Services is proud to help honor Washington State's firefighters at the State Fair this year," Huycke said. "These men and women risk their lives under incredibly difficult conditions. They deserve tremendous appreciation for what they do."
Speedway president Doug Hobbs encouraged the use of the state fair's most popular race night to recognize first responders. He said it was the perfect segue way to the following weekend's 9-11 tribute when first responders get into the races for free.
"We are paying tribute to fire, police and EMS and reaching out to the various counties to thank them for their service," he said.