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MSHS: Rain stops the racing, not the fun

by Patrick Rall on

While Allpar has covered the 2017 Modern Street Hemi Shootout series since the season began, this past weekend marked my first trip to an MSHS event.  The Detroit MSHS event began at Milan Dragway on Thursday, and continued into Friday and Saturday at the Woodward Dream Cruise. While hard rains spoiled the racing action on Thursday, it was still a great few days with the men and women of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout.

Over the past two years, I have written about several of the events of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout while featuring some of the people and race cars in the modern Mopar racing series. Although I had seen some of the cars and met some of the people from the MSHS in the past, the Thitek Hemi’Nsanity event at Milan Dragway near Detroit was the first MSHS which I have attended in person – and I’m sorry that I haven’t gone to more of them in the past.

Rainy Race Day
The weekend-long Thitek Hemi’Nsanity event began on Thursday, as the racers of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout arrived at Milan Dragway in Michigan. Hard rain in the early morning forced the racing action to start a bit later than expected; after an hour or so, unrelenting rains hit Milan and they didn’t stop. Although the track crew had spent hours trying to dry the track out after the first rain, harder rains in the afternoon guaranteed that the track would not be dry enough to safely run the racing portion of the event, forcing Dan VanHorn to call off the racing.

That was the bad news, but there was plenty of good things to say about the Detroit stop of the MSHS racing series. While there wasn’t much racing, most vehicles got at least one run during the morning practice session, so we got to see almost all of the vehicles make a pass down the quarter mile. Seeing and hearing these high powered modern Hemi vehicles was remarkable, with many of them running in the 9- and 10-second range while plenty of others ran in the 11s, 12s and 13s. Also, while the majority of race vehicles were Dodge Challengers and Chargers, there were some stunningly quick Jeeps, Dodge Magnums and Chrysler 300s on hand, as well as a few classic Mopar muscle cars running modern powerplants.

Basically, the Modern Street Hemi Shootout has an impressively wide range of Hemi-powered performance vehicles, ranging from stock cars to fully built racing machines and while we only got to see them run for an hour or so – that hour was enough for the spectators (and myself) to enjoy the  awe-inspiring performance of these street legal Mopar machines.

While the racing action was hindered by the rain throughout the day, the length downtime allowed everyone in attendance to meet and hang out, sharing race stories, showing off their vehicles to newcomers like myself and generally making for a fun – albeit rainy – day at the drag strip. Having known so many of these folks online for a year or more, it was great to meet them in person and hang out in the many tents around the wet grounds and while everyone would have rather spent more time on the track, I have never seen a group of racers have more fun at a rained out event than I did at Milan last week.

As a result of the rained out event, the cash prizes from Milan will go to the next MSHS event in Virginia, meaning that more than $25,000 in cash is up for grabs next month.

MSHS at the Woodward Dream Cruise
The Thitek Hemi’Nsanity event of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout is unique in that it is a 3-day event centered around the Woodward Dream Cruise (whereas the other events are strictly track-focused). After spending the day at Milan Dragway on Thursday, the world’s quickest late model Hemi-powered vehicles headed to a huge parking lot in an area of Pontiac, Michigan known as the Woodward Loop.

The Woodward Dream Cruise was technically held on Saturday, but the entire week leading up to the actual cruise day is filled with activities and festivities around Woodward Avenue, so those MSHS attendees who headed to the reserved parking area in the Woodward Loop got to check out the cruising action on the road while enjoying what was essentially a huge modern Mopar show in the lot. Also, the crew from Livernois Performance came out with their mobile dynamometer for the MSHS dyno competition, so in addition to the high performance action on Woodward Ave – there was plenty of Mopar muscles being flexed in the safety of the parking lot as well.

On Saturday, the Woodward Dream Cruise was in full effect, with thousands of cruisers lining the streets of Detroit and tens of thousands of spectators lining the curbs. On cruise day, the Modern Street Hemi Shootout parking lot in the Woodward Loop was packed full of high performance Mopar machines old and new, complete with a judged car show. Dodge dropped off an Octane Red 2018 Demon, a black 2018 Widebody Hellcat and a Billet Silver 2018 Durango SRT and I drove an Octane Red Widebody Hellcat test car, so everyone who visit the MSHS lot on the day of the Dream Cruise could check out the hottest new Mopar performance vehicles in addition to the rows and rows of privately owned vehicles.

FCA also sent TV personality Steve Magnante to the lot with boxes of freebies, including shirts and keychains with the new Dodge Demon logo which were prizes for a fairly simple trivia contest, so on top of seeing the Widebody Hellcat, the Demon, the Durango SRT and some of the fastest modern Hemi vehicles in the world, those folks who hung out at the MSHS area could score some cool free Dodge apparel. Also, for those looking to partake in some friendly competition, Van Drake Racing had a practice tree set up where attendees could battle the beautiful Bad Ass Official girls for the best reaction time.

Finally, those folks who had paid to race at Milan or who had paid to park in the MSHS lot (there was a ticket package which provides access to all of the festivities of the 3-day weekend) were also invited to take part in a fantastic barbecue buffet which just might have been the best food along the Dream Cruise route. Of course, during the feasting, the cruising and the vehicles on display, there were plenty of chances to meet the men, women and race vehicles of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout.

Even though the racing portion of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout in Metro Detroit was rained out, it was still a great event from beginning to end with lots of great people, lots of wicked Mopar machines and a huge party at one of the biggest car cruises in the world.

If you are a Mopar lover, a Modern Street Hemi Shootout series event should be on your bucket list. The Detroit stop is more than just a racing event being based around the Woodward Dream Cruise, making it an even cooler event, but if the Detroit stop on the is too far from your hometown to make the trip, there are other stops each year on the MSHS schedule. Regardless of what type of modern Hemi-powered vehicle you have, the MSHS has a class for your car, truck or SUV and if you simply want to see the quickest, fastest and most powerful modern Mopars in the world – the racing action is worth the trip to the closest stop on the schedule.

The next stop on the MSHS schedule is September 15-16 at Virginia Motorsports Park and since the Detroit event was rained out, the Virginia race (sponsored by Demon Performance) will have $30,000 in cash prizes.

None of the action in the Modern Street Hemi Shootout would be possible without the generosity of the sponsors. Dan VanHorn and everyone who enjoyed themselves this past weekend at the Dream Cruise owe a big thanks to the sponsors:

Sponsors from the ill-fated Milan event include:
Series title sponsors: DriveShaft Shop and Hemituner Performance
Event sponsor: ThiTek
Class sponsors:
*#bad_ass_official & VanDrake Racing King of the Hill
*Demon Performance Super Pro
*ThiTek Pro 9.50
*True Street Performance Modified 10.50
*Legmaker Intakes Super Stock 11.50
*RK Motors Street 12.50
*Eastcoast Moparts Bracket
*High Horse Performance Hellcat Shootout
*BFNY Performance and OC Performance Resto’mod
*Jonz HVAC & Stanley’s Performance 2nd Chance runoff
* – Mopar Bracket

Associate sponsors:
A2Speed – Best Reaction Time
Orthopedic Spine Care of Long Island – Best ET
Stell Sav – Twin Win Award
Cabinet Factory of Delaware – Hard Luck Award
Nitrous Outlet – Best 60 Foot Award
Gary Rhudy Motorsports – best package
Authentic Performance – Burnout contest
Stage 6 Motorsports
Southern Hotrod
Livernois Performance
Z Automotive
DTP Racing
Hall Automotive
Gen3 Performance Products
American Racing Solutions
Gearhead Fabrications
American Muscle Performance
Per4mance Development
Mass Acceleration Motorsports

MSHS at Woodward sponsors:
Dodge – Steve Mags
Brunt Associates
Newton Crane roofing
Livernois Motorsports-dyno
Professional Auto Collision- car show
Andy Wagner, Chris Harrigan and Stell Savarino – car show judges
Michigan’s Best Entertainment-DJ
Justin and Joel Applegate
Nate Taylor – security
VanDrake Racing- raffles
David Ferrell –
Chris Vanhoutte- corn roast
George Bain – Pig roast
Kajun cones
Detroit muscle
Welled Lake Dairy Queen
Motorcity Detail – mobile car wash
Team Hellcat

Huge local help from:
Craig Thibeau, Brian Brunt, Denise Brunt, Justin Applegate, Joel Applegate, Eskle Collier, Scott Hancock, Nate Taylor


Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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