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Dodge is Issuing a Challenge to All Muscle Car Owners and Horsepower Lovers

Dodge is bringing back its Roadkill Nights drag race competition. The contenders have to register and can race on a controlled track.

Woodward Avenue in suburban Detroit is known all over the world for its history of drag racing. Dodge, which produced classic muscle cars like the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Charger is once again sponsoring legal drag racing on a track on Woodward Avenue. The event is called MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge and it is open to the public. Car owners can enter to race and the public can buy tickets to watch.

Woodward’s Storied Past

Woodward Avenue became famous during the 1960’s and 1970’s when it was lined with drive-ins and teenagers came out to cruise. Picture “Happy Days” with the latest automotive technology. Late at night, Woodward morphed into the perfect spot for automotive engineers to come out and test their latest high horsepower engines. The stoplights on Woodward are located at every quarter mile, so it was technically a quarter mile track. Motor City engineers who couldn’t risk being caught racing often let teens take the vehicles out to challenge each other.

Dodge’s 2023 “Last Call” models like the Dodge Challenger Shakedown, Dodge Charger Super Bee, Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger, Dodge Charger King Daytona and Dodge Challenger Black Ghost paid tribute to these HEMI-powered vehicles that ruled Woodward back in the day.

Roadkill Nights 2024

Roadkill Nights started as part of the Woodward Dream Cruise car event that takes place in August. Roadkill Nights has become so popular that it draws a huge crowd of its own.

“For nearly a decade Roadkill Nights has brought horsepower enthusiasts together for a celebration of performance like none other, and the 2024 event will add to the legacy of Dodge and MotorTrend’s horsepower circus,” said Matt McAlear, Dodge brand CEO – Stellantis. "In addition to drag racing and the Direct Connection Grudge Race, we have surprises in store this year that are sure to send a charge through all Roadkill Nights attendees.”

Along with the chance to watch some of America’s quickest street-legal cars in-person on Woodward Avenue, attendees can expect a classic and modern muscle car show, Dodge Thrill Rides, Dodge displays and Dodge show vehicles, Roadkill talent appearances and a vendor midway.

“Dodge continues to be the engine driving Roadkill Nights for nearly a decade now, and there is simply nothing like watching our fans drag race down Woodward Avenue,” said Alex Wellen, CEO and president – MotorTrend. “MotorTrend is thrilled to bring to life its most popular show in the Motor City.”

Professional Automotive Builders to Compete as Well

There is also a professional competition involved in the event. Six automotive builders with legions of online followers will do battle on the temporary Woodward Avenue drag strip. Grudge Race competitors will use Direct Connection HurriCrate engines, derived from the high-output 3.0L Hurricane Twin Turbo engine, in their drag-car builds. The Direct Connection Grudge Race will serve as the headline attraction at Roadkill Nights, with lots of online lead up to the event.

The Direct Connection Grudge Race competitors include:

  • Tom Bailey: Bailey, owner of the “Sick” media franchise, returns to the 2024 Direct Connection Grudge Race to compete solo after serving as a mentor in 2023, and will also host a burnout contest the day prior to the Roadkill Nights event.
  • Westen Champlin: Coined “sexiest man in Kansas” is a self-proclaimed “horsepower connoisseur.
  • Morgan Evans: Evans, is apparently known to the social media world as someone who can build anything on four wheels. She has a YouTube channel, “Torque N Tungsten,” where she documents her metal artwork and automotive builds.
  • Allison Kovalik: Kovalik is new to the Direct Connection Grudge Race, but she’s no stranger to Roadkill Nights or building drag cars — she grew up rebuilding vehicles.
  • Garrett Reed: A custom ride builder and creator of the popular American Muscle HD social channels.
  • Herman Young: Young is a returning veteran in the event, is a passionate member of the Dodge Brotherhood of Muscle.

Additional information on the 2024 edition of MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge, including date, location, event and ticket details, will be shared later this spring and summer at

Dodge Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @MaryConwayMedia and send her car news tips for future stories.