Growing Green

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 19:  Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 19, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, KS – APRIL 19: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 19, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — With Earth Day coming Monday, NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer got an early start on some earth moving during a tree-planting celebration Friday morning at Legends Toyota near Kansas Speedway.

The tree planting was part of a month-long initiative in NASCAR’s “Race to Green” and the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS. In an effort to reduce the sport’s carbon footprint, NASCAR is encouraging its fans, teams, tracks and partners to pledge trees to the cause.

Toyota, for instance, will donate a tree for each lap led by a Toyota driver and 1,000 for each Toyota win. With Kyle Busch winning at Texas last Saturday in a Joe Gibbs Racing Camry, Toyota already is on the hook for more than 1,100 trees this month.

On Friday, Truex and Bowyer spread soil around the base of the saplings before other participants covered the soil with mulch made from recycled tires.

Asked to recall the last time he had planted a tree, Truex quipped, “I used to plant trees — now I have a landscaper.”

“That’s real nice,” retorted Bowyer. “When I was a kid, we used to plant trees a lot. The neatest thing about this… we take care of each other, and we do so much with this sport in charitable work, but a lot of times, the ground itself is overlooked.

“This is a neat opportunity to take care of both.”

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