Meltdown Drags at The Playground of Power
by Lena Vina
If you were not at Byron Dragway in Byron, Illinois, on July 20 & 21 for the 4th annual Meltdown Drags, you missed the best vintage drag meet in the country--truly the Midwest's best kept secret!
It was an awesome sight with a few hundred car show cars and over 400 race cars that met the strict race criteria. They ran hard down the track and put on a great show. The 17 staging lanes were never empty on Saturday. There were 60+ period correct tri 5 Chevy's, 2 dozen Willy's, and several AWB cars! The highlight was the Gasser Shootout that ended with the Great Lakes Gassers taking the traveling "Meltdown Shootout" trophy from the Nostalgia Gassers Racing Association.
So what makes this event different you may ask? The people and the criteria. The greeting line at the gate was a very nice welcome to the event and the goody bag was like opening a Christmas present. Everyone was talkative, friendly, and engaging. The facility was clean and the track prep was superb. As for criteria to race, all cars have to be 1966 or older with 60’s style wheels, original or reproductions. Period paint and hood scoops are also a must. Keeping cars to these standards means that everywhere you turn, you are impressed by something that recalls the glory of drag racing's past.
The event is put on by the Meltdown Drags Association a.k.a. MDA. They are a group of guys that "get it" and are just looking to have fun at an event that is their style. Judging by the amount of cars and spectators, they have really captured something special with this event--being true to themselves and giving others something that they want to see. The goal of the event is to have fun. No pay outs, no trophies, no whining. We saw cars from all over the US and Canada and heard a race car was driven all the way from Spokane, Wa.
Highlights of a Meltdown Drags weekend included:
Miss Meltdown Drags Pin-up contest
Swap Meet & car show
Friday night meet and greet
Cruise to Sam’s Drive-in in your drag car
Meltdown Drags photo galleries continued on the next page...
Nostalgia Drag World - by Lena Vigna; photos by Peter Ores