2018 Event Poster

2018 small poster

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Update 3/25

We are almost through the registration process. If you have not received an email, sit tight……Every person will receive a reply.  Alternate cars and not accepted cars will be emailed soon.

Thank you for your patience.  Unfortunately 400+ cars will not be able to race this year.  We have been overwhelmed with the registration process.  We have some dear friends that will not be able to race with us this year.

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Registration update

The first 100 entries are sent out. More to come this week and next week. Watch your email!

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Byron Dragway Announces New Requirements for NHRA-Approved Lower Engine Oil-Retention Devices February 1, 2018

Byron Dragway Announces New Requirements for NHRA-Approved Lower Engine Oil-Retention Devices
February 1, 2018
BYRON, IL, February 1, 2018 – In an effort to improve the quality of the racing experience, effective immediately, Byron Dragway will require all cars running 9.99-seconds or quicker (6.39-seconds 1/8-mile) to be equipped with an NHRA-approved lower engine oil-retention device. Further expansion of this rule to include cars 10.99-seconds or quicker (6.99-seconds 1/8-mile) is under consideration for 2019.

A lower engine oil-retention device is defined in the 2018 NHRA Rulebook under General Regulations 1:8.

Must utilize an NHRA-accepted lower engine oil-retention device. SFI Spec 7.1 or 7.2 Lower Engine Containment Device permitted. A properly fitting lower engine ballistic/restraint device mandatory. The NHRA (Byron Dragway) technical staff can accept or reject any device. Any device that fails to perform as required must be replaced or repaired to the satisfaction of the Technical staff prior to any further runs. When used, an SFI Spec 7.1 or 7.2 Lower Engine Containment Device must cover the sides of the block and pan up to within one inch of the head mating surface and extend to within 1 1/2 inches of the front and rear of the cylinder case area. SFI Spec 7.1 devices must be updated/recertified by the original manufacturer at one-year intervals. In classes where specified, a belly pan may be used in lieu of a device attached to the engine. The belly pan must extend from frame rail to frame rail and extend forward of the harmonic balancer and to the rear of the engine block and must incorporate a minimum 2-inch-high lip on all sides unless specified in Class Requirements. Minimum number of slots or holes in the walls to clear frame, steering, or lines permitted. A nonflammable, oil absorbent liner mandatory inside of retention device.

Frequently Asked Question:
Q: Does my lower engine containment device need to meet an SFI Spec?
A: An SFI Spec 7.1 lower engine containment device is required for Pro Modified, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Top Fuel Dragster, and Nitro Funny Car.

Q: How do I know if my lower engine containment device is NHRA accepted?
A: The NHRA Accepted Oil Retention Device list can be found below.

Contact Byron Dragway at 815-391-0000 or click here.


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Wow, what a crazy first 5 days of pre-registration…

576 cars/bikes have send in their information for registration.

Registration is open for 52 more days!

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Email is working again

Registration Update…

127 of you had impressive reaction times by sending your entry in within 5 minutes of midnight last night….WOW!

We have cleared up our e-mail issue and the preregister@meltdowndrags.com is now accepting e-mails again.

Thank you for your patience…

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Email was crazy today

Well….that escalated quickly!

We have received over 400 e-mails in 9 hours and it has resulted in our e-mail account reaching capacity. Because we all have day jobs, we won’t be able to address this until this evening.

So…if you did not get an auto response from us indicating that we received your registration, please resend it.

Remember, we are going to take a little time to get through all of the entries and will not be replying until March.

Thank you again for your support…who ever would have thought that it would be like this!

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Pre-Registration opens January 2nd at 12 am CST!

PRE-REGISTRATION will begin at 12:00 am (Central time) on Tuesday, January 2nd.

Please remember the following:

Send an e-mail to preregister@meltdowndrags.com with the following info:
– Name
– Address
– City/State/Zip
– Phone Number
– Year/Make/Model of the vehicle
– Approximate E.T. (cars faster than 9.99 will be under more scrutiny from the track for safety per NHRA)
– Side picture of the vehicle (ensure we can see the wheels)

– All entries must be received by February 28th.
– Do not expect an immediate response. We will send all responses in early March.
– If we have too many cars for a class, we will select the participants based upon a combination of speed of entry, adherence to our vintage criteria and prior attendance.

If you are not able to participate in the 2018 Meltdown Drags, please don’t be discouraged as we have two other magnificent events planned for the year. In June, we will have the first ever Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest (Byron Dragway) and at the end of the September we will have the 3rd Annual Fall-Out at Rock Falls Raceway.

Thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

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Fall-Out #2 was a huge success!

WOW! Thank You to everyone!

What a perfect weekend to get your fix of vintage drag racing. We don’t have the details yet but there were several thousand spectators and we set another attendance record thanks to you!

Thank You to Motor Race Images for being there and taking and posting these pictures!



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8th annual Meltdown Drags recap



Thank you for coming to the 8th annual Meltdown Drags.  We greatly appreciate you taking the time to come out to capture and share the uniqueness of the Meltdown Drags with the world.

We came a long way in 8 short years.  The idea was conceived years earlier but came to reality after the 7 officers discussed a utopia place where push start cars were not misunderstood, where it is not about who is fastest or who wins,  and where no cars newer than 1966 would be allowed.  Appearance of the cars would be regulated along with wheel rules all to mirror a 1960’s drag meet.


Year one had 30 cars and shared the track with the Pontiac & snowmobile clubs, test & tune cars, & junior dragsters.  By year 3 the track dedicated the day to the Meltdown Drags only and we had 400 racers.  2015 brought out portable lighting and night racing with over 500 racers.

The Meltdown Drags is the largest vintage drag meet in the world.  We have cars from all over the U.S. and Canada and spectators from all over the world like Ian from England. Nearly 14,000 spectators and 518 racers.


Why did the Mecca of vintage drag racing come to Byron Illinois?  Because the Meltdown was created for the love of old race cars and the fun of it.  The MDA (Meltdown Drags Association) runs the event and does not take from it.  All proceeds cover the costs of putting the event on and any leftover funds go direct back to the racers in the form of giveaway items.  Don’t believe us?  Check out the tent full of giveaways including tires, engine parts, tools, a welder, clothing, floor jacks, etc.  The track takes all gate fees and uses it to stay open for everyone to enjoy the facility.


The youth are our future and we embrace them with the SLAM group helping the kids build model car kits (for free) and also with the hot wheels race track where they get to race a hot wheels car and take it home when they are done.  We had 3 16 year olds, Carly, Wyatt & David racing and they earned the Young Gun award and got to pick a special prize from the tent.


Everyone likes pretty girls and there is no shortage of them here.  From 7-8pm on Saturday while the track staff took a mandatory break and the track was prepped for night racing, the celebrity judge panel picked Miss Meltdown Drags out of the group of amazing participants.  This is a family friendly contest at the top of the staging lanes.  The winner this year was ‘Betsy Boondocks’.


The event pays tribute to all who have served our country with the field of American flags along the track and also with the color guard raising the colors and the 21 gun salute on Saturday night.  The color guard includes members of the Oregon, Illinois American Legion Post 97 and VFW post 8739.  Thank You for your service.


We have the largest number of race groups we have ever had including the fastest gasser group around, Scottrods AA gassers.  Also we are proud to have the Great Lakes Gassers, Nostalgia Gasser Racing Association, Nostalgia Super Stocks and various car clubs.


The swap meet and car show are second to none with a ton of cool vintage period correct parts for sale and cool cars from all over the Midwest.


Future events from the MDA include:

Vintage Drag Racing 101 “The Fallout” #2 in Rock Falls Wisconsin September 29-30, near Eau Claire.

 The brand new event:

“Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest” June 2nd in Byron Illinois which all cars must run Pie Crust slicks along with other criteria. Saturday night the first 7 pairings of cars did a true 60’s race, no burn outs or dry hops, and ran right off the line when the light turned green!


Bj and Rhonda (track owners) along with Randy & Chelsey Simpson (track manager) are wonderful hosts and if you pay close attention you will see this is the cleanest track you have ever seen.  They take pride in their top notch facility. The food stand run by Dave Gustafson never had lines and had great tasting, great priced food.

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