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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