Nascar Fans Lament Chrysler's Decline

Bankruptcy filing has diehards fearing for the fate of the once-mighty Dodge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2009 6:59 AM CDT
NASCAR chiefs say the sport is still in robust health, although TV audiences have slipped by a fifth in the last few years.   (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)
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(Newser) – Chrysler's woes are making the Nascar faithful wistful for the days when Dodges ruled the track, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bankrupt automaker has promised to continue supporting the sport, but it has already cut funding by almost a third this year and its cars are now usually found at the back of the pack. "I'm a Dodge man," one fan said. "It's depressing."

"You hate to see something that's such a part of American life go away," said Nascar legend Richard Petty, who became the sport's all-time winningest driver behind the wheel of Dodges and Plymouths in the '60s. Detroit's troubles are the latest setback for the sport, which has seen TV audiences and ticket sales drop by around a fifth since its 2005 peak.