NASCAR joins fight to save Big Three

NASCAR chairman Brian France has lobbied Congress to support a financial rescue plan for the struggling Big Three automakers. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — three of the four manufacturers that participate in NASCAR — are pleading with Congress for a bailout to prevent their companies from going bankrupt.

"I'm writing you as a concerned American who wants what is best for our general country," France wrote. "Of course, the domestic automobile manufacturers play a very important part of the heritage of NASCAR, but more importantly, it is vital for all of America."

The letter, a copy of which was obtained Saturday by the Associated Press, was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; and Sen. Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the Banking Committee. It was dated Tuesday.

France's letter warned that if the auto industry fails, 3 million people would lose their jobs in the first year, and another 2.5 million over the following two years. He said personal income in the U.S. would drop by $150 billion in the first year and domestic automobile production — even by foreign manufacturers — likely would drop to zero.

"For these manufacturers to survive, your assistance is urgently needed," France wrote. "By immediately supporting America's automobile industry, you can help our nation avoid a devastating economic blow.

"We urge the Administration and Congress to support the bridge loan package under deliberation. As unattractive as the idea of corporate federal bailouts can be to many Americans, including me, there appears to be no alternative. Federal aid is in the best interest of the entire country." More at Detroit News

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