Roadkill Nights Returns for 2021 With the Debut of the Dodge Hellcat Grudge Race

Woodward Avenue beckons once again, and organizers are ready to respond with a Dodge Hellcat grudge race to top all others. Eric Malone is the driver to beat. Last year, the pandemic canceled Roadkill Nights, leaving fans to relive the good old days. However, nothing could dampen their enthusiasm.

Roadkill Nights’ appeal grew “tremendously over the past few years,” Stellantis reports. And now that events are back on the schedule, organizers are ready to put on a show. Case in point: this year’s Dodge Hellcat grudge race. Expect drama, fun, and a “grassroots feel.”

A first-timer’s guide to Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge

Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge draws nearly 50,000 fans to street-legal drag racing in Pontiac, Michigan
Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge draws nearly 50,000 fans to street-legal drag racing on Woodward Avenue | Stellantis

Roadkill Nights is a Dodge event that will run for its sixth year in 2021. Car enthusiasts consider it the beginning of a weeklong homage to anything drivable with four wheels. Because Detroit and the automotive industry have always had a love relationship, it made sense to bring Woodward Avenue into play.

The Avenue is a 27-mile premier racing surface that runs from Detroit to Pontiac, Michigan. There, enthusiasts will attend a legal street drag racing event held on the asphalt. Because it’s unusual to hear the words “drag race” and “legal” in the same sentence, the event is a highlight that draws attention. Of course, there are also plenty of other family-friendly events. Roadkill Nights serves as the warm-up for a week of car culture enjoyment.


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And this time, fans can get in on the action. This year’s MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. August 14, 2021. Drag racing starts at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern). Tickets are on sale through TicketSpice, and live streams will be available on Dodge’s and MotorTrend’s YouTube channels. And if you want to register to participate, you must apply through RegFox by July 14 at 8 p.m.

Why is the Dodge Hellcat grudge race something you have to see to believe?

If Roadkill Nights bills itself as “automotive chaos theory,” you might imagine the Hellcat grudge race is the cherry on top. This year’s challenge will involve a Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, $10,000 in cold hard cash, and carte blanche to modify the vehicles as the participants see fit. The racers are also not your typical Sunday drivers.

Eric Malone is a fan favorite and star of MotorTrend’s series “Fastest Cars in the Dirty South.” He’s the driver to beat and has the most to lose. However, he’s not planning to lose or even make it easy on the competition. A cryptic hint suggests his car will pack more than 1,000 hp.

That said, the competition is not for the faint of heart. Dodge Garage introduces Alex Taylor, a drag racer who’s the youngest participant in Hot Rod Drag Week. It’s fair to say driving and winning are part of her DNA.

Other participants include Tavarish, who regales audiences with rebuilding videos. He can turn salvage vehicles into gold. Westen Champlin likes to push the envelope with builds that nobody else would attempt. Finally, there’s Throtl, a group that loves building project cars and giving one away every three months.

Family-friendly? You bet!

Bring the kids to this family-friendly automotive spectadle. Young Detroiters will love the muscle car shows and simulators. And the next generation of enthusiasts will thrill to Roadkill Nights’ stunt shows, including flamethrowers (need we say more?). Of course, there’s also something for younger fans who might not be quite ready to embrace the flames.

Oh, and don’t forget the food trucks.