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The Event Saw Its Largest Turnout Yet

Roadkill Nights 2022 Dodge Grudge Match Winner Alex Taylor
Roadkill Nights Grudge Match winner Alex Taylor. Image via Dodge.

MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge returned for its seventh year on Saturday, August 13, at Woodward Avenue. It drew in a one-day attendance record of more than 40,000 performance enthusiasts to M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, along with more than a million online views. So it’s safe to say that the one-day festival of street-legal drag racing was a huge success.

2022 Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge: Event Details

Historic Woodward Avenue’s overnight transformation into a 1/8-mile straight-line dragstrip hosted 115 street-legal drag racers. At the same time, spectators had the chance to get their adrenaline pumping with thrill and drift rides in Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcats, and Ram TRX trucks on the M1 Concourse.

2022 Roadkill Nights By Dodge

The Dodge Direct Connection Grudge Match saw eight automotive personalities face off for a chance to take on 2021 champion Alex Taylor on the drag strip. All nine competitors received the challenge of building and running a Direct Connection crate engine that they could modify as they pleased. Competitors debuted everything, from vintage hot roads prepped for drag racing, to utes, to Hellcat-swapped Dodge Magnum station wagons and Viper sports cars with stock interiors.

However, they had the added challenge of competing with a Direct Connection six-speed manual transmission within a $10,000 budget. Varying tire sizes were also allowed.

The Big Tire (tire size-unlimited as long as it is DOT approved front and rear) and Small Tire (tire size-non “W” 28 x 10.5 x 15 or smaller DOT Drag Radial) classes saw 115 competitors battling for bragging rights and cash prizes totaling $30,000 on the iconic 1/8-mile Woodward Avenue drag strip with unique urban features such as an active railway located just behind the starting line. Each class winner earned $10,000, with the quickest Dodge cars in both classes taking home $5,000 each.

Westen Champlin Roadkill Nights 2022 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Grudge Match Alex Taylor Winner
Roadkill Nights 2022 Grudge Match runner-up Westen Champlin

Defending champion Taylor matched her 1955 Plymouth Savoy against the 2016 Dodge Challenger of Westen Champlin, who beat out seven other builders. Let it be known that Champlin’s Dodge Hellcat muscle car didn’t even have a transmission the Friday morning prior to the event, only for him and his crew to go nearly all the way.

In the final race of the 2022 Roadkill Nights Grudge Match, Taylor took the win for the second year in a row.

If fans could not attend Roadkill Nights, an event replay can be seen on the MotorTrend YouTube channel, which the whole stream can be viewed just below. Additionally, two half-hour Roadkill episodes will air on MotorTrend television, with additional coverage in an hour-long episode of MotorTrend’s Roadkill TV series.


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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