Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis announced last year that Roadkill Nights would return for 2023 with a revised Grudge Match program featuring teams of experienced racers helping rookie drivers through the process of building a car and drag racing on Woodward Avenue. As we are a few months away from 2023 Roadkill Nights at the new location in Pontiac, Dodge has introduced three of the six teams that will compete in the Grudge Match on August 12th.
What we expected was to see six teams led by past Roadkill Nights Grudge Match competitors, but out of the first three teams introduced – only one has RKN experience. Tony Arme built the wicked Plymouth Barracuda that had a strong showing in the 2022 RKN Grudge Match.
His “rookie” is named Kayla Rundle, and while we have not heard of her, a quick scroll through her YouTube channel reveals that she has built a 600 horsepower Camaro SS with a manual transmission that she takes to road racing track days. We are not sure if the manual transmission will be required this year, but it appears as though Rundle has plenty of performance driving experience with a manual transmission.
The next mentor is Tom Bailey – the man who has built and piloted some of the quickest legit street legal drag cars in the world. His “Sick Seconds” Camaro has won multiple Hot Rod Drag Weeks along with other drag-and-drive events. Bailey is also in the process of building the world’s quickest Dodge Durango.
Bailey knows how to go very, very fast on the drag strip, which should pay dividends with his rookie driver EJ Naegeli. In looking on her social media channels, EJ has recently gotten into the drag racing world, competing in Tom Bailey’s Sick Summer drag-and-drive event in a 1955 Chevy gasser.
The third team to be introduced includes mentor Rob Dahm and rookie racer Erica Schrull. Dahm is a well-known YouTuber who builds insane high performance Mazda rotary-powered vehicles for a variety of different forms of motorsport. Schrull hasn’t posted on Instagram in more than a year and there hasn’t been a new video added to her YouTube channel in 4 years, so we don’t know what she has been up to lately, but there is no sign of motorsports experience on her inactive social media accounts. In the past, she owned a Hellcat Challenger, but that is all we know of her automotive experience right now. With Dahm having no experience in building modern Dodge engines and Schrull seemingly having minimal racing experience, it will be interesting to see how this duo fares against the teams above.
As the next three teams are introduced, we will bring you that information as well. Click here for more details on these first three teams from Dodge Garage.