Saturday, August 11, 2018


Woodward Avenue is a 30 mile road that stretches from downtown Detroit heading north through several suburban communities and eventually loops around the city of Pontiac. During the heyday of American Graffiti style cruising the streets (1950s - 1970s) in automobiles, Woodward dotted with drive-in diners, that had names like Maverick's, Susie Q and Totem Pole, and often the scene of drag races was the place to be. There isn't much cruising and street racing going on along Woodward these days, except for in mid-August each year when a series of events celebrating Detroit car culture take place along this stretch of roadway.

This year's festivities led off with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Dodge brand sponsored ROADKILL NIGHTS and will culminate with the WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE which has thousands of automobile enthusiasts parading classic cars and hotrods around the thoroughfare for a day. Dodge's ROADKILL NIGHTS event turned a portion of Woodward in Pontiac, Michigan and the adjacent M1 Concourse Race Track into a car lovers' amusement park.  From 10 am through 10 pm they hosted drag racing actually on the avenue as well as provided thrilling vehicle rides on the M1 Concourse's skid pad and race track. Check out my ROADKILL NIGHTS experience in the video below:


Yes! They actually shut down a portion of the street and let people sign up to drag race on it.  There were all sorts of cars doing it too, not just hotrods. One of the races I saw pitted a 1970s era station wagon versus a mustang from the '80s.  Another had a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee duel a '70s muscle car. A classic roadster took on a muscle car .. and so on.  Later in the evening some professional drivers jumped in on the action, including Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett and Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car driver Matt Hagan, and there was also some heats featuring car celebrities like Richard Ray Rawlings from Discovery Channels' FAST N LOUD and Bill Goldberg from History Channel's FORGED IN FIRE: KNIFE OR DEATH. Oops! Rawlings actually crashed his Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat into the wall taking off from the line giving Goldberg the Roadkill Nights Celebrity Shootout title. With amateur, celebrity and professional drivers there was a whole lot of interesting racing to see.

Woodward drag racing


For those of us who couldn't get behind the wheel to do some street racing on Woodward Ave. there were some impressive race simulators to try out. You could participate in a head-to-head competition against fellow car enthusiasts in the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, which offer the latest state-of-art motion technology to deliver incredibly realistic special effects and virtual head-to-head drag racing. Wow! It almost felt like you were behind the wheel of a real Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – which with 840-horsepower is one of the most powerful muscle cars ever built. I won 2 out of my 3 races on the Demon Simulator reaching virtual reality speeds exceeding 135 miles per hour. That was fun!

Dodge Challenger Demon


On the M1 Concourse's skid pad, people could get inside a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and be taken literally for a spin. Talk about burning rubber! Take Disney World's Tea Cup sensation but amped up with the horsepower of a muscle car to give yourself one hell of an amusing ride. I was all smiles spinning around the course. Oh yeah!

Drift Ride


Hang on as you ride along with a professional driver at breakneck speeds around a loop of the M1 Concourse Race Track. Speeding through straight aways and skidding around corners is an adrenaline inducing thrill ride. I had an amazing time racing around the track! Just a little bit slower than driving along I-696 and no worries about getting a ticket. AWESOME!

race track

I had a great time and appreciate Dodge inviting me out for the day to experience the event firsthand. Hopefully they will be back again sponsoring ROADKILL NIGHTS again next year.  For more information about Dodge's lineup of hot rods or news about special events and other interesting things the brand may be up to, head over to

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