Passion And Soul: Leilani Munter Driven By Racing And Saving The Environment

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Leilani Münter is ready and prime to go racing, ARCA stock car style in 2012. Photo courtesy of Phil Cavali and Leilani Münter.

Leilani Münter is ready and prime to go racing, ARCA stock car style in 2012. Photo courtesy of Phil Cavali and Leilani Münter.

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Most racers spend their energy and focus at the latest circuit of the weekend, working feverishly to get their cars dialed in for the long marathon on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

A little more than just an office job, these drivers go door-to-door at nearly 200 mph, leaving fans to wonder how they're able to do it on a consistent basis.

In the case of Rochester, MN's Leilani Munter has them all beat when it comes to doing the extraordinary on the track. Not only does she drop the hammer on a 3,400 pound stock car, but she's fueled by environmentalism, a passion of hers that she carries with her as a racing talent.

Walking the walk and talking the talk, Munter's reason for why she's driven to preserve and better our world is quite prevalent as the way she excels at the racetrack.

"It is my instinct to try to do something about the bad things I see happening in the world," Munter said. "It is very important to me to be a part of the solution."

Recently, Munter made several trips to Japan, as she was inspired by her viewing of the documentary "The Cove," which chronicles dolphin hunting off the coast of "The Land of the Rising Sun." Moved by the film, she witnessed gruesome moments as well some triumphs in her efforts to end dolphin slaughter, fighting off fishermen along the way.

She's also made her stance known on alternative energies to become mainstream, as she's supportive of corn based ethanol. As she races at many of the circuits where NASCAR's implemented Sunoco Green E15 fuels, which contain 15 percent ethanol blend, she feels that it's only the beginning to even bigger things with new age fuel.

"What people need to realize is that corn based ethanol is a stepping stone to second generation and third generation ethanols," Munter said. "Those types of biofuels can literally be made from all kinds of waste materials, anything that contains cellulose.

"With 7 billion people on the planet, we produce a lot of garbage that could be turned into fuel. That is the future. I think algae is another exciting source of fuel, and I think more and more, particularly after the oil tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, you are going to see these renewable fuels pop up."

Despite the off-season now in place across the stock car circuits of America, in just over two months, it's back to business for racers like Leilani Munter to hit up the 2.5-mile, 31-degree banked corners of the Daytona International Speedway.

Prime and ready for the ARCA Racing season opener on February 18th, Munter recently revealed her new paint scheme for the upcoming 2012 season, which combines her love of racing alongside the environment.

Fueled by her love of the environment, Leilani Münter will combine her love for that and racing in her No. 59 ride in 2012. Photo courtesy of Leilani Münter.

Fueled by her love of the environment, Leilani Münter will combine her love for that and racing in her No. 59 ride in 2012. Photo courtesy of Leilani Münter.

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"For 2012, we are hoping to run all ten of the televised ARCA races starting with Daytona with a very cool eco theme for next season - I am calling it my 200 mph eco education project," she said. "My eco themed race car will be unlike any other race car that has ever hit the track. It’s going to be fun."

Fun is certainly in order for the young gun racer, especially if she crosses the line first in the ARCA season opener.

When asked about Victory Lane, Munter said, "Daytona on February 18--my birthday!"

To say the least, the world's fastest environmentalist is ready to go racing behind the wheel of her No. 59 car, which just might be a contender for wins in the ARCA division next year.

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