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Dodge Drag Racing Event in Pontiac Was a Runaway Hit Among Car Enthusiasts

Red convertible sportscarSummer is a season meant to be enjoyed with friends and family. With more than 16,000 public and private campgrounds nationwide, camping has a long-standing reputation as one of America’s favorite summer pastimes. In Detroit and surrounding areas, however, you are less likely to see families gathering around RVs and camping trailers. Rather, the Motor City is known for a different kind of “recreational” vehicle — the sports car.

This past Friday, August 19, Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge came to Woodward Avenue in Pontiac for the first-ever drag racing event. The event, held next to the new M1 Concourse, attracted hundreds of amateur racers and more than 15,000 spectators from all over the country.

The competition started shortly after 1 p.m. with competitors racing for first in everything from Chevrolet Corvettes, to new and refurbished Dodge Chargers, to Mazdas and Subarus.

“It will be quite an honor to be racing on Woodward Avenue,” said Brian Brunt of Wixom as he prepared to take off in his 2007 SRT Jeep Grand Chrokee with its supercharged V8 Hemi engine. He had added drag racing radial tires and a specially tuned suspension.

Brunt wasn’t the only competitor with a uniquely altered machine. Lou Rhodes of Farmington Hills made his amateur drag racing debut in his yellow 1993 Mazda RX7. Though it had its original engine, Rhodes altered it and rebuilt all of the surrounding parts so that the car generated about 800 horsepower.

The Roadkill Nights event, which began last year as a car show, was free to spectators. Organized by Dodge and The Enthusiast Network (TEN), it also included live music, concessions, and a classic car show as well as thrill rides with professional drivers in Dodge Vipers, Chargers, and Challengers with Hellcat engines.

Tim Kuniskis, head of the Dodge brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said that unfortunately, the drag race may not be part of the event in future years.

“There were so many hoops to jump through to do this. Every single person was supportive,” he said. “There are so many moving pieces but can I tell you we can do it again? I don’t know. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat.”

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