The Biggest Burnouts Happen on Woodward Avenue: Roadkill Nights 2018
Every year on the second Saturday in August, the city of Pontiac closes a portion Woodward Avenue near the M1 Concourse to host a full day and night of street racing with 128 registered street legal race cars. The event is Roadkill Nights powered by Dodge, and its fourth consecutive year saw some of the biggest burnouts yet.
The opportunity to race on the historic Woodward Avenue without risking jail time only comes but once a year. There's a limited number of slots available and the racers are diehards. Even after his twin-turbo 1930 Plymouth Sedan suffered a flat slick when the rear tire met the rough Michigan roads, Nick Plewniak managed to find a replacement and get back on track. He celebrated by burning rubber all the way down the strip.
Racing on Woodward is a whole different experience than going full-throttle on prepped-surfaces. The pebble-filled, cracked and then sealed pavement lacks traction. This also makes the burnout box more challenging. Some racers skidded off to the side from a lack of sticky traction, while others couldn't smoke the tires much at all. Not this guy, though. He's one of the pros.
Taking a Pause
One endearing part about racing on Woodward is the periodic road closures that allow trains to pass. There’s something about being close to a fairly fast moving cargo train while being surrounded by race cars. That moment gives a serene pause, but with an energetic, anticipating feel.
This duo of Chevrolet Nostalgic gassers raced side-by-side throughout the day, and they looked good doing it. From what we were able to see, they may have also been the only gassers on the strip.
Get Ready to Rumble
Standing near the track when Matt Hagen burns rubber down the strip in his Dodge Charger Nitro Funny Car and Leah Pritchett does the same in her Mopar Dragster is like getting punched in the chest by a whoosh of electrified, booming wind that soon starts burning as the nitromethane fumes settle in your eyes and sinuses. Pure perfection.
For this year’s celebrity shootout, Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage went up against Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett, both driving Dodge Hellcats. Just milliseconds after this photo was taken, Rawlings ran the Dodge up and into the barrier, leaving tire marks across the concrete wall. His ego may be temporarily bruised, but at least he’s not the only person to get passed by Pritchett, and he certainly won’t be the last.
What’s that? You can’t get enough of the burnout action? Flip through the gallery above for more shenanigans!