NASCAR driver Jon Wes Townley does not mind having his picture taken with fans. Townley is also apparently a fan of blockbuster movies, like many of us, and seemed to enjoy the opportunity to have actor Mark Ruffalo pose in an awesome photo op and twitter picture with the star.
Ruffalo may be known for his work as an actor in movies such as the Avengers (Dr. Bruce Banner - Hulk) but he’s also now a race fan.
The actor was on hand for both racing series events at Chicagoland Speedway this past weekend to help get the word out about some of his projects away from the big screen. He also was there supporting ARCA Racing Series driver and environmental activist Leilani Munter.
Don't worry - everything in this story comes together under the going green efforts put in place by NASCAR! Keep reading!
A Hulking Grand Marshall
Ruffalo, also serving as Grand Marshal for the day, signed autographs with race fans as well as his movie fans. Some may have been waiting for the laid back actor to explode into his screen alter ego – The Hulk – but instead he simply went on doing what he appeared to be a natural at doing. That’s hanging out with race fans with a smile on his face.
According to Ruffalo he was there as both a fan of racing but also as an environmentalist. In 2011 he helped start an organization called The Solutions Project with Mark Jacobson who is a professor at Stanford. The group advocates the transition to a 100 percent clean, renewable energy, future. So why show up at a NASCAR and ARCA race weekend?
First, Ruffalo, was supporting Munter and her PrairieGold Solar No. 66 Toyota which also included an ad for The Solutions Project. Hey, if you’re going to pick a race car driver to get the word out about your clean energy projects then it does not hurt to select Munter. The driver also has degrees in the field, has worked in the industry for years, uses solar power in her pits, and she’s a model.
"What we want to say to people and what she is a perfect example of is you know we really don't have to give up anything," Ruffalo said. "You don't have to give up NASCAR because we're moving to a carbon-free structure and infrastructure of carbon-free energy environment. You can still have those things."
The Hulk is green, Ruffalo promotes renewable energy which is a going green effort, and NASCAR is a leader in the sports world for leading the industry in all things green!
NASCAR Goes Green
NASCAR as an industry has become more "green" over the last several years. The Series has implemented tree growing projects, using cleaner fuel, and the series has the largest recycling program in all of professional sports. The race series has quickly become the leader in the industry of sports when it comes to “going green.”
In a way it makes sense. NASCAR knows that the world is changing. More and more people are leaning towards cleaner fuels and energy. In addition green energy is a growing business. If there’s one thing NASCAR knows its marketing. Clean energy is not only a great choice for the planet but it is also a source for future fans as well as possible sponsors. Yet another way "green" fits into the story! This sport does not run without sponsors.
It’s a win for all involved. Going green is good business sense and a great choice for people in their everyday lives. Just ask Ruffalo who transcends his Hollywood fame and simply connects with people in the garage area as if he had known them all of his life.
"These are like my people,” Ruffalo said about the area’s race fans. “I grew up an hour and a half away from here in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So this is my kind of family. This is what my people are like."