Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misstated the duration of last year’s event. It has been updated with the correct information.
DETROIT — Tim Kuniskis remembers when the idea of staging an old-school, pop-up drag-racing spectacle sounded nuts — even to Dodge, the unapologetic purveyor of American muscle.
It was the summer of 2015, a month before the inaugural Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge event took over the parking lot of the abandoned Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit and turned the venue into a festival headlined by drag races, Hellcat thrill rides, vehicle displays and a celebrity appearance from "Fast N' Loud" star Richard Rawlings.
Looking back, the setup looked like a stroke of genius. But just weeks before the first gathering, born out of a partnership with Dodge and Motor Trend Group media company, uncertainty was in the air.
For one, Dodge was still unsure of a location, in addition to wondering if it could legally pull it off. And Kuniskis, FCA's head of passenger cars in North America, said he wondered how many people would show up.