It might seem ironic that on the weekend the NASCAR Cup series visited Infineon Raceway in Northern California, the circuit chose to announce the completion of its large solar arrays.

As over forty NASCAR racers tore around the circuit for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Saturday and Sunday, spectators got a great view of more than 1,600 solar panels that will provide around 41 percent of the circuit's energy usage, and save energy equivalent to 34,000 barrels of oil over the next 30 years.

The solar panels are part of the Raceway's push towards sustainability. Motor sport isn't the cleanest of pursuits so every little improvment helps, and the Panasonic-manufactured panels are one of several eco-friendly features introduced at the circuit.

Infineon's goal is to become one of the most energy-efficient raceways in the world. As well as the large solar arrays, Panasonic has also manufactured a full-color, dual-sided LED video board to replace the previous sign that was powered by 7,000 traditional light bulbs. The new sign uses 57,600 LEDs and although it uses only half the energy of its predecessor, it's significantly brighter.

The solar panels and the low-energy display join the circuit's recycling program and even 3,000 sheep that are used to trim the grass around the track and grounds, rather than using powered mowers.

So, if there's one thing guaranteed to reduce any hidden guilt about dozens of V8 stock cars tearing up the blacktop, it's knowing that at least the circuit itself is going green...

[Infineon Raceway via Engadget]