Drift Racer Promoting Ethanol After Aromatics Poisoning

Drift Racer Promoting Ethanol After Aromatics Poisoning

Determination and dedication have led Alec Hohnadell to make a name for himself on the Formula Drift circuit. His execution and style on the race track is impressive, considering the 21-year-old is the youngest drift racer on the circuit and one of the youngest to ever make it onto the podium.

But years before racing his way to the top, Alec was fighting for his life. At that time, his determination and dedication was spent on figuring out what was wrong and how to get healthy. After seeing more than 30 doctors within the United States and abroad, they finally figured out the diagnosis…he had been poisoned.

“He was loaded up with petrochemicals. They measure blood toxicity on a 0 to 100 percent scale, he was over 98 percent,” said Alec’s father, Gale Hohnadell.

Those petrochemicals were due to Alec swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Although it appeared to be cleaned up, toxins from the oil spill in 2010 lurked in the water. Many of the toxins that made Alec sick are the same ones found in our gasoline, benzene, toluene, xylene (BTX group) also known as aromatics. These toxins forced the once active teen to the sidelines. He missed his prom, couldn’t finish traditional high school, or do any of the things he loved in order to focus on getting healthy.

Aromatics are added to gasoline to boost octane but are also known to be cancer causing. Ethanol can replace a majority of aromatics, providing a clean octane boost while also reducing toxins coming out of the tailpipe.

After the diagnosis, Alec spent more than a year in intense treatment to clear his system from these chemicals. It was during this time that he discovered drift racing. Once he was healthy, he decided to give the sport a try.

But when he got behind the wheel, Alec wanted a cleaner fuel with the performance capabilities needed to race his way to the top. That’s when he started using ethanol. After hearing his story, Dave Vander Griend was compelled to help Alec. Thank you to Vander Griend and ICM for putting up the money to sponsor Alec and spread the UAI message for the 2017 Formula Drift season.


Alec is helping teach his fans that you don’t need a race car to take advantage of ethanol’s benefits. Right now, almost all drivers are using fuel with 10% ethanol. Higher blends, with 15%, 20% or 30% ethanol are becoming more readily available. When used in regular and flex fuel vehicles, these blends provide more octane at a lower cost while also reducing a wide range of tailpipe emissions.

Urban Air Initiative is proud to help Alec educate the public that we can improve our air with ethanol. #FixOurFuel