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It's Good News Week! Maybe.....

Dodge Lives! To fight another day on the NASCAR tour (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   DOVER, Del.
   Want some good news?
   Tired of doom-and-gloomsters?
   Well, here's the start of something good: Chrysler could come out of bankruptcy by next week, barely a month after it fell into that legal morass because of the failure of first Daimler Benz and then Cerberus to figure things out.
   Third time's the charm.
   Or at least that's the hope.
   If so, Roger Penske's bunch may be right on track.
   Kurt Busch, who runs Penske's Dodges, concedes Chrysler has been in such turmoil lately that nobody really seems to know what's happening. In fact, one of Dodge's top NASCAR men has jumped to Ford.
   "It's always difficult to play 'What if,' and right now our concern is to make Dodge as fast as we can on the track, to allow people to feel comfortable with their decision to buy a Dodge product," Busch says diplomatically. "And for us to be third in points racing our Dodge Charger feels good.
    "I look up to a guy like Roger Penske to make those decisions for us. And to me it wouldn't present any type of problem if we did have to switch. But right now our concern is to go forward with our Dodge products and make sure they're receiving all the credit with this new engine."
   Chrysler's swift success in this bankruptcy thing – though it still has to prove itself out on the playing fields of Main Street – should bode well for General Motors too, which hopes its anticipated bankruptcy is an equally short dip in the murky legal lagoon.
   June 1st. That's a big day for GM. And the next steps are somewhat uncertain.
   But one thing NASCAR bosses can do to help things might be to get on board with some of the things Detroit/Washington are having to do to turn around the American car business.
   So far NASCAR hasn't done much to show it's even in tune with the mess up there, other than to voice support.
   It's time for NASCAR to get more on target.
   One thing NASCAR could do would be to use its Cup-feeder systems, the Truck series and the Nationwide series, as better marketing tools for Detroit's planned new more fuel-efficient efforts.
   Heck, even China, the second-biggest automobile market in the world now, has become so worried lately about its own increasing dependence on foreign oil (delivered over American-guarded sea lanes) that it is going with even tougher gas mileage restrictions on cars. According to one report, the average vehicle sold in China today averages nearly 36 mpg, with the country heading toward rules that mandate more than 40 mpg eventually. President's Obama's own new fuel efficiency rules would only hit 35 mpg in six years or so.
   This train has left the station, clearly.
   The question: does NASCAR want to be on board?
   It sure looks like NASCAR's 358 cubic inch engines are 20th century dinosaurs. Hey, that venerable small-block Chevy debuted in 1956.

And, as much as we moan and groan about things, sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at NASCAR's amazing marketing machine -- here teenage sensation Joey Logano, fresh off a third straight hot run on the Sprint Cup tour, learns the finer points of makingt a real Philly cheesesteak (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


Fuel Efficiency A Hoax

CAFE and the premises behind it failed before and it can't work now. NASCAR's 358 still works - robust, strong, durable, it's better than what the ecofascists want to bring to the table.

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