Names and faces
Posted: July 21, 2014 at 3:40 a.m.
• Actor Mark Ruffalo felt right at home at Chicagoland Speedway during his second NASCAR race. "This culture is really familiar to me," he said. "These are like my people. I grew up an hour and a half away from here in Kenosha, Wis. So this is my kind of family. This is what my people are like." Ruffalo, 46, served as the grand marshal for Saturday night's Nationwide Series stop, but he also was out to support Leilani Munter in the ARCA race. Munter's PrairieGold Solar No. 66 Toyota included an ad for Ruffalo's The Solutions Project on the car. Ruffalo and Stanford professor Mark Jacobson helped create the organization in 2011 to advocate for the transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. NASCAR has stepped up its environmental efforts over the years, and Ruffalo said he found a receptive audience at the race. Using a solar-based system in her pit area that is also used by the U.S. military, Munter finished 12th in the ARCA race. "What we want to say to people -- and what she is a perfect example of -- is you know, we really don't have to give up anything," Ruffalo said. "You don't have to give up NASCAR because we're moving to a carbon-free structure and infrastructure of carbon-free energy environment. You can still have those things." Ruffalo received an Emmy nomination this month for his performance in The Normal Heart, an HBO film adapted from Larry Kramer's 1985 play about the early years of the AIDS crisis.
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