The 2023 MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge event took over the streets of Pontiac, Michigan, leaving a trail of burning rubber and adrenaline-fueled excitement in its wake. Now in its eighth year, the festival brought together more than 42,000 car enthusiasts from all corners of the country, converging on the newly chosen location of Pontiac City Square in downtown Pontiac.
The heart of the event lay in the exhilarating street-legal drag racing that unfolded along the legendary Woodward Avenue. Enthusiasts of all ages gathered to witness the clash of horsepower and skill as more than 120 competitors battled it out for bragging rights and cash prizes totaling a staggering $30,000. The sounds of roaring engines and screeching tires reverberated through the city streets, creating an atmosphere that resonated with the spirit of American muscle car culture.
One of the event’s most anticipated moments was the Dodge Direct Connection Grudge Race, which featured a unique team format. Six teams, each comprising a mentor and a rookie, were tasked with building a Dodge or Plymouth drag car using Direct Connection performance parts. Team Corruptt emerged victorious among them, with rookie driver Kayla Rundle at the helm. In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Rundle piloted her 1969 Plymouth Barracuda, fitted with a Direct Connection HELLCrate Redeye 6.2L Supercharged Crate HEMI engine, to victory in the final round. Her victory marked a significant milestone for both her and the event, as she clinched the 2023 Grudge Race title, solidifying her place in the annals of Roadkill Nights history.
While the drag racing was undoubtedly the main attraction, the event went above and beyond to provide a well-rounded experience for attendees. In a new twist for 2023, street-festival entertainment featuring artists, musicians, and more added an extra layer of excitement to the festivities. The crowning moment came in the form of a special concert by the renowned musician and actor Ice Cube. His electrifying performance closed out the day on a high note, leaving the audience with memories that will last a lifetime.
Roadkill Nights wasn’t just about the action on the track. Attendees were treated to a plethora of activities and attractions that catered to their automotive passions. The event featured on-site activations by partners such as Amazon, Mickey Thompson, Tremec, and Aeromotive, providing an opportunity for attendees to explore and engage with some of the industry’s leading brands.
The corner of Woodward Avenue and West Pike Street underwent a stunning transformation overnight, morphing into a legal public road dragstrip that showcased some of America’s fastest street cars. The event’s expansion to a new downtown Pontiac location added to its allure, drawing a record-breaking crowd of more than 42,000 spectators. The festival captured the essence of car culture, and Dodge did do an excellent job with the event in downtown Pontiac. But, while there was more stuff to do this year, I did prefer the event at M1 Concourse better. Hopefully, it will return to the M1 grounds again one day.
2023 MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge Image Gallery: