Street legal drag racing Roadkill Nights takes over Woodward on Saturday
Pontiac — Get out the earplugs, pack the kids up and get ready to scold.
Woodward will close at the South Boulevard intersection here Saturday as street legal racing takes over Metro Detroit’s most famous street for the seventh annual MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge. Some of the best street-legal drag racers in the country will descend on an improvised 1/8-mile strip from Woodward southbound in two classes – Small Tire, Big Tire – with the top eight battling for victory as the dusk goes down.
The race is part of a day of celebration of motoring culture as Roadkill also takes over the adjacent M1 Concourse car club for thrill rides, hot-rod and trick-truck displays, testing engine dyno, food trucks, simulators, merchandise galore, and live entertainment.
Highlights will include the second annual Dodge Direct Connection Grudge Race as competitors battle it out in dragsters made from Dodge’s specialty parts bin. Last year’s Grudge Race winner Alex Taylor will defend her title against a roaring group of mod builders including Tavarish, Westen Champlin, Team Throtl, Christina Roki, Demonology, Corruptt Builds, Collete Davis and David patterson.
Thrill rides let families ride shotguns with professional drivers as they melt the rubber of muscle cars around the M1 Concourse’s Champion Motor Speedway – and on the M1 skidpad. Vehicles available include the 700-hp Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, Challenger Hellcat Redeye, Durango SRT Hellcat and 375-hp Challenger R/T Shaker.
If dirt is your thing, then you can ride the right seat of the 702 horsepower Ram 1500 TRX (pronounced T-rex) monster on a specially designed off-road course.
Roadkill MotorTrend TV personalities David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan will host the event along with Chief Dodge Donut Maker Preston Patterson, who has won a one-year crown as Ultimate Dodge Brand Ambassador. Other Motorhead celebrities include Steve Dulcich, David Newbern, Mike Cotten, Lucky Costa, Cristy Lee, Steve Magnante and KJ Jones.
When they’re not lining up for thrill rides (they get long), participants can enter the Hellcat simulators to digitally pilot the Dodge supercar through a quarter-mile of pixels.
“If you’ve ever dreamed of watching legal drag racing on Woodward Avenue, come to our event,” said Eric Schwab, Chief Revenue Officer of MotorTrend Group. “Whether you’re a drag racer, car enthusiast, or just looking for a fun day to spend with the family, Roadkill Nights promises a dynamic experience.”
Drag racing loves cool temperatures (for better engine breathing) and dry conditions (for slick tire grip), and the mid-70s weather forecast delivers half of that promise. Rain, however, can be an unwelcome visitor late in the day according to Accuweather.
General admission tickets are $25, reserved seats are $60 for adults and $25 for children. Fans can also follow the action live on www.dodgegarage.com/roadkill-nights-2022 – or on social media with the hashtags #RoadkillNights and #PoweredByDodge.
Lobby M1, 164 South Blvd. West, Pontiac
Saturday August 13, 10am-9pm
10 a.m. — Doors open to the public, start of the event
Photo opportunities as muscle/vintage/classic cars enter Concourse M1
Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge event activities begin – Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat thrill and drift rides, dyno testing and Ram TRX Thrill Ride Experience off-road course
11 a.m. – Drag races begin with an open qualifying session (all drag races can be viewed live on the DodgeGarage.com, Dodge.com, Dodge and MotorTrend YouTube channels)
4:45 p.m. – Dodge Direct Connection Grudge races start
5:45 p.m. – Top Eight drivers’ announcements in shootout
6:15 p.m. — Opening ceremony
6:30 p.m. – Top Eight shootouts begin (Small Tire & Big Tire)
8:30 p.m. — Top Eight Winners Awards Ceremony
9 p.m. — End of the event
Henry Payne is an auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected] or Twitter @HenryEPayne.