Get ready to rumble: Roadkill Nights street-legal drag racing takes over Woodward Saturday

Posted by Talbot Payne on August 13, 2022

Pontiac — Get out the ear plugs, pack up the children and get ready to rumble.

Woodward will shut down at the intersection of South Boulevard here on 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 country’s top, street-legal drag racers will descend on a makeshift, 1/8-mile strip of southbound Woodward in two classes — Small Tire, Big Tire — with the top eight shooting it out for victory as twilight descends.

The racing is part of a day-long celebration of car culture as Roadkill also takes over the adjacent M1 Concourse car club for thrill rides, hot-rod and trick-truck displays, dyno engine testing, food trucks, simulators, merchandise galore, and live entertainment.

Drag racing at 'Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge' on Woodward, across from the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan on August 14, 2021.

Among the highlights will be the second annual Dodge Direct Connection Grudge Race as competitors face off in drag machines made from Dodge’s specialty parts bin. Last year’s Grudge Race winner, Alex Taylor, will defend her title from a snarling field of mod builders, including Tavarish, Westen Champlin, the Throtl team, Christina Roki, Demonology, Corruptt Builds, Collete Davis and David Patterson.

The thrill rides allow families to ride shotgun with professional drivers as they melt the rubber off muscle cars around M1 Concourse’s Champion Motor Speedway — and on M1’s skid pad. Available vehicles include 700-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, Challenger Hellcat Redeye, Durango SRT Hellcat, and 375-horse Challenger R/T Shaker.

If dirt is your thing, then you can climb into the right-hand seat of the 702-horse Ram 1500 TRX (pronounced T-rex) monster on a specially-made off-road course.

Roadkill MotorTrend TV personalities David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan will host the event along with Dodge Chief Donut Maker Preston Patterson, who won a one-year crown as the ultimate Dodge brand ambassador. Other motorhead celebs on hand include Steve Dulcich, David Newbern, Mike Cotten, Lucky Costa, Cristy Lee, Steve Magnante, and KJ Jones.

When not waiting in line for thrill rides (they get long), attendees can enter the Hellcat Simulators to digitally pilot the Dodge supercar down a quarter-mile of pixels.

“If you’ve ever dreamed of watching street-legal drag racing down Woodward Avenue, come to our event,” said MotorTrend Group revenue chief Eric Schwab. “Whether you’re a drag racer, car enthusiast or just looking for a fun day to spend with family, Roadkill Nights promises a dynamic experience.”

Drag racing at 'Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge' on Woodward, across from the M1 Concourse in Pontiac.

Drag racing likes cool temps (for better engine breathing) and dry conditions (for slick tire grip), and the mid-70s weather forecast delivers on half that promise. Rain, however, may be an unwelcome visitor late in the day according to Accuweather.

General admission tickets are $25, reserved seating is $60 for adult, $25 for children. Fans can also follow the action live at — or on social media channels with hashtags #RoadkillNights and #PoweredByDodge.

M1 Concourse, 164 South Blvd. West, Pontiac


Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.


10 a.m. — Gates open to the public, event begins

Photo opportunities as muscle/vintage/classic cars enter M1 Concourse

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 racing begins with open qualifying session (all drag racing can be viewed via livestream at,,Dodge and MotorTrend YouTube channels)

4:45 p.m. — Dodge Direct Connection Grudge Races begin

5:45 p.m. — Top Eight shootout driver announcements

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. — Event concludes

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

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