How Much Does NASCAR Fuel Cost?

NASCAR is a popular racing sport that involves high-speed cars that run on special fuel blends giving these powerful cars the combustion needed to fly along the race track. Powerful engines are notorious for burning through gallons of fuel in a short time, and NASCAR vehicles are no different.

Without the injection of exceptional fuel, NASCAR fuel tanks would be empty almost as soon as the cars started the race.

The cost of NASCAR fuel can vary depending on the type of fuel and the quantity needed, as well as how far the fuel must travel from the supplier. A shipment to Chicagoland speedway will have a cost completely different than delivery to Hendrick Motorsports or Texas Motor Speedway.

Below are some neat insights about the cost of NASCAR fuel and some factors that can influence the price. 

What are Common NASCAR Fuel Types?

NASCAR likes to find a reliable supplier of a key race component and then stick with them for as long as quality service is provided.

Goodyear provides the racing tires for NASCAR Cup and Truck Series, so it is no surprise that a single company, Sunoco, handles almost all of the series gallons of fuel needed. Two common fuel types are used to power NASCAR vehicles.

There are two main types of fuel used in NASCAR racing: Sunoco Green E15 and Sunoco 260 GTX, each providing a different price point and miles per gallon for the vehicles.

Sunoco Green E15 is an ethanol-based fuel blend that contains 15% ethanol, a green fuel, and 85% oil-derived fuel, while Sunoco 260 GTX is a high-performance 100% oil-derived fuel that is used in some NASCAR racing events.

During qualifying sessions, gallons of gas are used just to determine who will be racing in the coming event leading to the 18-gallon fuel cell emptying several times in a single race.

Why Does NASCAR Use Sunoco Fuel?

Sunoco Race Fuel

NASCAR uses Sunoco fuel because it is a high-quality racing fuel that is specifically formulated to meet the performance needs of NASCAR race cars. Sunoco has been the official fuel supplier for NASCAR since 2004 and provides both Sunoco Green E15 and Sunoco 260 GTX fuel blends for use in NASCAR races.

NASCAR uses Sunoco fuel is that it meets the strict regulations and standards set by NASCAR for fuel quality and performance, and Sunoco’s fuel blends are tested and refined to ensure that they provide consistent and reliable performance in NASCAR race cars, helping to maximize engine power and efficiency.

Sunoco fuel is used because of the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Sunoco Green E15 is an ethanol-based fuel blend that contains 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, which helps to reduce emissions and promote cleaner air and make a safer race experience for drivers, crew, and spectators. 

As a socially responsible corporation, Sunoco is also committed to supporting local communities and promoting youth education through its partnership with the NASCAR Foundation. By providing high-quality fuel for NASCAR races, Sunoco is able to support this popular and exciting sport while also promoting important values and initiatives while striving to develop the cleanest fuel. 

How Much Is the Cost of NASCAR Fuel?

The cost of NASCAR fuel can vary depending on the type of fuel and the quantity needed. As of 2021, the price of Sunoco Green E15 is around $7.15 per gallon, while the cost of Sunoco 260 GTX is around $9.75 per gallon.

This price is a bit misleading as the actual cost NASCAR pays to depends on the gallons of fuel used if it is 100% alcohol-based fuel, as well as several factors found below. 

Volume Discounts

Race teams often purchase fuel in large quantities, which can result in volume discounts and lower prices per gallon. Similar to airplane fuel, extra fuel is purchased to allow for above-average fuel usage and other unforeseen circumstances.

However, high-performance gas does not contain the same preservatives that street car fuel has, so it will not last much longer than race day in storage to utilize all the hydrocarbons for performance and not earmark any for storage longevity.  


The price of fuel can vary by location, with some areas having higher or lower fuel prices than others, and taxes and other legislation cause fluctuations in fuel cost. Dallas, Texas-based motor fuel manufacturer will generally cost less than a California-based company.

Transportation Costs

Shipping fuel to race events can add to the cost, particularly if the event is far from the fuel supplier’s location. The cost of transporter fuel is not easy to calculate as the same dizzying fuel price numbers are likely to change and vary based on the time of year and other macro and micro influences. 

Sponsorship Agreements

Some race teams may have sponsorship agreements with fuel suppliers that provide discounts or other benefits when providing fuel. Since all of NASCAR is supplied by Sunoco, no individual teams are sponsored by them, and these discounts are not applicable.

However, other fluids and engine liquids are available for these sorts of sponsorship agreements. 

What Factors Affect the Cost of NASCAR Fuel?

The cost of NASCAR fuel can vary depending on several factors, including the type of fuel, the quantity needed, and the location. Despite the high cost of fuel, NASCAR teams are willing to pay for it in order to achieve maximum performance on the track.

With a combination of high-quality fuel and skilled drivers, NASCAR racing remains a popular and exciting sport for fans around the world, and only the best fuel for entertainment is accepted. 

To keep costs of fuel down, engine and race teams are always trying to find ways to stretch the fuel and achieve a better gallon fuel consumption ratio. Mixing fuel with different percentages of ethanol and seeing what performance changes occur can be useful for designing next-generation engines.

Even global events can have a staggering effect on what a gallon of fuel costs, as oil is often important and mixed with domestic products while being refined into the highest-grade fuel possible. 

Cost of NASCAR Fuel (as of 2021)


Since a single company supplies fuel to the NASCAR series, it is pretty simple to see the costs plainly. The 15% ethanol is cheaper to develop and reduces the need for highly polluting and volatile petroleum products.

The more expensive and specialized GTX is more than $2 more expensive and offers the highest performance of any fuel in any modern racing event. 

Fuel TypePrice Per Gallon
Sunoco Green E15$7.15
Sunoco 260 GTX$9.75

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