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The Grudge Race Will Have A Twist This Year

Roadkill Nights Returns For 2022

Get ready for the eighth year of Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge, coming to downtown Pontiac, Michigan, on August 12, 2023. If you’re ready and waiting for tickets, now’s the time, as they’ve just been made available for what will undoubtedly be another epic year of street-legal drag racing. Teams have been set, and the drag car build projects are underway for the Grudge Race, scheduled for Saturday. 

What’s New For Roadkill Nights 2023?

In case you missed it, Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge is moving to a new location in the heart of downtown Pontiac, featuring a new format for one of the event’s highlights, the famous Direct Connection Grudge Race. The race pits online automotive builders in head-to-head drag-racing competition. The 2023 Grudge Race will feature a new twist, with pairs of competitors working together to create a Dodge or Plymouth drag machine using Direct Connection performance parts, including the Hellcrate Redeye 6.2L Supercharged Crate Hemi engine and a plug-and-play Hellcrate Redeye 6.2L Supercharged Crate Hemi Engine Control Unit (ECU). 

Originally, teams were set to use the new 3.0L Hurricrane twin-turbo crate engine that debuted as SEMA. This appears to be no longer the case.

Image via Dodge.

While 2023 marks the “Last Call” for the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger in their current Hemi-engine-powered forms, Direct Connection will continue to offer Hemi-powered crate engines. This means fans building their vehicles or future Roadkill Nights events will keep the epic V8 power on the roster. 

An experienced drag racer and online automotive builder (The Mentor) will team up with a “rookie” online builder/racer lacking previous drag-racing experience (The Rookie). The Mentor will “school” The Rookie on building, tuning, and testing their build project before The Rookie ultimately battles it out on the drag strip at the corner of Woodward Avenue and W. Pike St. in Pontiac. 

A new winner will be crowned for 2023, as two-time Grudge Race champion and drag racer, mechanic, and automotive content creator Alex Taylor will be moving to compete in the Big Tire class at the event. The six teams of automotive personalities set to battle include: 

  • Team Sick-Bastards: Experienced racer and Sick, The Mag founder Tom Bailey, instructs his race show employee EJ Naegeli as she makes her first-ever drag strip run. 
  • Team Corruptt: Returning Grudge Race competitor Tony Arme (Corruptt Builds) assists adrenaline-loving rookie Kayla RUndle as she goes for the win. 
  • Team Dahminators: Automotive builder ROb Dahmn works with a familiar face – girlfriend and Dodge enthusiast Erica Schrull – as she gears up to compete
  • Team Truck Yeah: Performance garage owner Justin Keith coaches truck lover Lacey Blair with Roadkill Nights’ first-ever build that’s a must-see (something tells us it’ll be a truck). 
  • Team Soul Snatcher: Grudge Race veteran Herman Young (Demonology) thinks his hard-earned race wisdom can help put ScrapLife Garage’s Lee Carter over the top. 
  • Team Throtl: Two-time Grudge Race competitor Rickie Fernandez gives up his seat to school fellow Throtl member Quinn Clark. 

This’ll be an epic event you won’t want to miss, so set the date on the calendar and get your tickets if you intend to attend. You can do so through the MotorTrend Roadkill Nights 2023 webpage

2022 Roadkill Nights By Dodge

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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