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Local drag racers sound off on Chrysler bankruptcy

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Thursday was a big day for Chrysler. President Obama told us the automaker was headed into bankruptcy and into a merger with Italian automaker Fiat. KPCC's Brian Watt went to the Irwindale Speedway to get reaction to the news from people lined up to take part in Thursday night drag racing.

Frank Lopez (of Duarte): It's devastating. It's heartbreaking to me. I've been a Dodge person, a Chrysler person since I was very little. To see them going under and my dealer actually closed down – and that was El Monte. Went back there and there was no notices, no nothing, I just went back there for a routine maintenance and saw the doors locked.

John Dibson (of Ontario): They need to go bankrupt, so they can renegotiate union contracts. I used to be in the UAW, and they get paid way too much. And I think General Motors needs to go bankrupt also.

Michael Sanchez (of East Los Angeles): Nobody's buying any cars. So... well, I take it back. There's people that are buying cars, but those are the people that actually have money to spend to buy cars. And even then, they're being kinda frugal as they buy cars. So they're also hunting for the best deals.

Hugo Casal (of Fullerton): If the government wasn't involved, we wouldn't have these problems. Yeah. Get out. Leave them alone. Let the market take care of it. We don't want our president running car companies, banks. If they got a bad business plan, they go out of business... just like every other business.

Paul Moore (of Lancaster): I never lose my faith in Chrysler and Dodge. So, I'm gonna keep continuing to purchase from them and you know, hopefully, they keep on putting out awesome cars.

Note: We heard from Frank Lopez of Duarte with his 2007 Dodge Charger SRT- 8; John Dibson of Ontario, racing a bright orange 1942 Ford; Michael Sanchez of East Los Angeles driving a Dodge Neon SRT-4; Hugo Casal of Fullerton with a 1969 Dodge Dart; and Paul Moore of Lancaster who souped up his Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 – or "beast on the streets," as he calls it.