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Richard Rawlings crashes during Roadkill Celebrity Hellcat Shootout

by Patrick Rall on

This past Saturday, Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge held its fourth annual event in Metro Detroit and we are in the process of sorting through the hundreds of pictures and videos from the amazing night of street racing. In the meantime, we bring you a look at what has quickly become the biggest news from the event – televisions Richard Rawlings crashing a brand new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody into the wall during the Celebrity Hellcat Shootout.

Rawlings Crash at Roadkill

For those who are unfamiliar with the Roadkill Nights by Dodge event, it is an annual automotive festival held in Pontiac, Michigan by the folks who put on the Roadkill show and, of course, Dodge. 2018 marks the fourth year of the event and the third year where the main attraction was the legal street racing on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. Roadkill events have a huge Show N Shine area for all makes and models, Dodge thrill rides, a huge area of bounce houses for the kids, tons of food trucks and, most importantly, legal street racing on Woodward Ave.

Mind you, this isn’t a marketing gimmick to get people in the doors. This is actual street racing under the watchful eye of event organizers and local authorities. While the entire event is impressive, drawing tens of thousands of people from around the country each year, the racing is what draws the big crowds. The allure of watching people legally race on a public road is increased by the fact that the racing surface is incredibly slick, making it hard for the high performance machines to get traction.

The quickest cars find traction, with the top qualifiers from the event covering the 8th-mile track in roughly 5.6-5.8 seconds, but for some, traction is but a dream. One of those people was television’s Richard Rawlings.

Rawlings was enlisted to compete in the Celebrity Hellcat Shootout, in which 8 drivers went head-to-head in a 2018 Hellcat Challenger Widebody. The field included Roadkill shot hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan, NHRA drivers Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett, former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg, television host Christy Lee, movie produced Matt D’Andria and television’s Richard Rawlings. We will talk about the entire Celebrity Shootout once our videos are uploaded, but in the meantime, we will focus on the final run of the first round.

This run pitted Leah Pritchett against Richard Rawlings, with the NHRA star driving a Plum Crazy Challenger and the TV funny guy driving a black muscle car. The two cleaned off their tires and eased to the starting line, at which point Rawlings began to roast the rear tires. He seemingly had no intention of trying to complete in the race, as when the starter dropped his arms, Rawlings proceeded to smoke the tires down the track.

Evidently, his goal was to do a burnout down the entire track, but shortly into the race, the back end of the car drifts towards the outside wall. Rather than lifting, Rawlings stayed in the throttle and tried to save it, but instead, he showed us all why he has other people drive the cars that he builds. Rawlings over-corrected, the back end snapped to the inside and the Challenger went fender-first into the outside concrete barriers. He hit the wall hard enough for the car to climb the angled concrete, eventually slamming down onto the tracks and coasting down the track.

Of course, Rawlings lost the race and the celebrated by drinking a bunch of beer in the VIP area while trying get people around him to do shots, but no one seemed all that interested in celebrating a wrecked Hellcat Challenger.

The video below shows the run and the crash from the live feed of the event, courtesy of the Boosted Scat Pack YouTube channel.

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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