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The High-Octane Event Sponsored By Dodge Has Routinely Raced On Woodward Avenue

Roadkill Nights 2022 2021 2023 2019 2018 2017

Pop Quiz! What’s the Michigan State Flower? If you answered the apple blossom, congratulations. You’re indoctrinated and believe everything you hear in school. The correct answer is the road construction barrel. Particularly the orange, blinking variety. And it’s the season where these lovely flowers are blooming all over the Mitten State. In particular, they can be found all over Oakland County right now. Freeways such as I-75, I-96, and even the legendary Woodward Avenue. And while sanctioned street racing is seldom the concern of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), it does endanger the wildly popular summertime event known as Roadkill Nights, which takes place on Woodward Avenue at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan on August 12. Except this year, it isn’t.

MDOT is currently installing what’s known to many as a new “Michigan left” turn around area just north of the Woodward and South Boulevard. The design incorporates a median, a merging lane, and a left turnout positioned with either a yield sign, stop sign, or traffic light. Some may call also it a “U-turn” lane. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the Memorial Day weekend, which is plenty of time before the scheduled date of August 12 for Roadkill Nights 2023, but the new layout rearranges the 1/8th mile straightaway that the event has used.

2022 MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge

“M1 has been a tremendous partner. Changing our venue is the result of MDOT making road improvements for the businesses in the area,” said MotorTrend Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schwab to our friend Henry Payne over at The Detroit News. “Putting in a Michigan [left] turn there prevents the southbound lanes from being a straight shot.”

“There were apparently concerns with construction on the southbound lanes of Woodward to put in a U-turn lane and whether that might change the configuration of the drag strip,” M1 CEO Tim McGrane told The Detroit News. “Concerns included whether the construction could be done on schedule and if the northbound lanes would be a suitable, safe alternative.”

It’s more than just accessing a clean stretch of road. The M1 Concourse has been the facility for Roadkill Nights for several years now. Measuring 87 acres, it’s large enough to host 40,000 people, as seen last year, scattered around the grounds either spectating the races on Woodward, experiencing Dodge thrill rides in either a Charger or Challenger Hellcat, walking through the simultaneous car show, or going airborne in a Ram 1500 TRX. Nowhere else on or near Woodward Avenue is this all possible.

Roadkill Nights 2021 2022 2023 Powered By Dodge Woodward Avenue M1 Concourse

The highlight of Roadkill Nights 2023 is supposed to be a “Grudge Match” made up of teams with “Protégé” and “Mentor” drivers. The idea is for the Mentor to teach the Protégé to go fast in a custom-built drag racer, powered by a new 3.0L Hurricane twin-turbo inline 6 crate engine.

The alternative option could end up being the “Pontiac loop” between East Huron and Orchard Lake roads, just north of M1 Concourse. This location is where Dodge holds activations during the Woodward Dream Cruise, which usually falls on the Saturday after Roadkill Nights. Dodge took the opportunity to make news almost every day last year during what it called “Speed Week.” After making so much news in 2022, highlighted by the all-electric Charger SRT Daytona Banshee Concept, it’s unclear if Speed Week will return this year.

At the moment, M1 Concourse is looking to host a new event for the August 12th weekend, ahead of the Dream Cruise and the site’s own Woodward Dream Show on Aug. 18-19 during Dream Cruise weekend. Dream Show is a showcase for classic hot rods that will be highlight 2023 milestones such as the Corvette’s 70th anniversary.

Chevy and Ford, the floor is yours.

Roadkill Nights 2019 2020 2021
Photo copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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