Passion for performance continues to grow as MotorTrend Group’s “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge” was back in full force with an extra night of high-horsepower fun and a record amount of attendees. This year, more than 47,000 enthusiasts from around the country watched and participated in street-legal racing on historic Woodward Avenue.
“When we first introduced ‘Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge’ five years ago as a pop-up car show and drag race, we never imagined it would grow to nearly 50,000 performance enthusiasts over two days,” said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT®, Chrysler and FIAT®, FCA – North America. “The positive reaction from our fans and continued growth of this one-of-a-kind event fuels our passion to keep delivering products and marketing for performance enthusiasts.”
In addition to cash prizes for the race winners and fastest Dodge cars on the drag strip, the fifth annual car festival gave attendees the chance to get in the passenger seat. They were able to take an exhilarating thrill or drift ride in the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the 717-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, as well as thrill rides in the Durango SRT Pursuit “Speed Trap” concept. If that wasn’t enough, they could also race for the best quarter-mile times in the Challenger SRT Demon simulators. More than 6,800 people experienced these Dodge//SRT vehicles firsthand over the span of the two-day event.
The car festival also included a chance to check out more than 300 custom and classic cars in a Show ‘n’ Shine and watch freestyle motocross dyno, flamethrowers and wheelstander exhibitions.
“Last year’s Roadkill Nights was going to be hard to beat, but adding an extra event day this year really brought out a whole new level of turnout and excitement for car enthusiasts,” said Michael Deer, MotorTrend Group Automotive Events Senior Director. “We appreciate the support from fans in the Pontiac community and around the country who joined us to experience all the drag racing and thrill rides that Roadkill Nights had to offer.”
More than 120 street-legal cars hit the specially prepped 1/8-mile drag strip on Woodward Avenue between Rapid Street and South Boulevard to compete in high-powered drag racing for a cash purse totaling $30,000. The quickest Dodge cars in both the small and large tire categories also took home $5,000 each.
Quickest Dodge Winners
James Pranis, Pennsylvania: 1968 Dodge Charger (Big Tire)
Peter Bokedon, Michigan: 1972 Dodge Dart (Small Tire)
Big Tire Winner
Lil Jimmer Kline, Michigan: 1966 Pontiac GTO
Small Tire Winner
Alen Danial, Michigan: 1979 Chevrolet Malibu
In addition to the street-legal drag racing, celebrities, local sheriffs and NHRA racers also hit the drag strip on Woodward Avenue this weekend.
The team of Leah Pritchett and David Freiburger won the celebrity showdown challenge, with a $10,000 prize purse donated to United Way. In total, $21,210 was donated to United Way for Southeastern Michigan through the celebrity showdown challenge, charity auction and raffle tickets.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham defeated Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard in the “Sheriff Showdown,” an old-school grudge match on Woodward Avenue on Saturday, where they each drove a 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye with respective County decals.
Leah Pritchett, in her NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, and Matt Hagan, in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody NHRA Funny Car, wowed the crowd with exhibition runs.
On Friday and Saturday, the Mopar® Career Automotive Program (CAP) public booth spread awareness of the program, which is designed to develop the most highly skilled service technicians in the auto industry. Mopar CAP hosted 20 students and 20 metro-Detroit area dealers to network for dealership placement after the completion of the program. Approximately 1,000 interested prospects received information regarding the Mopar CAP program during the “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge” event.