Meltdown Drags 2017 Is Going To Be Bigger Than Ever! SOLD OUT IN 72 HOURS!

Meltdown Drags 2017 Is Going To Be Bigger Than Ever! SOLD OUT IN 72 HOURS!

(Words and Photos by Greg Rourke) Nostalgia racing is big right now. Some guys get it, some do not. I’ve been to “nostalgia races”  that included stuff like a  ’55 Chevy Pro Mod car, and anything else that looked pre-1966 but was far from period correct. Those guy do not get it. The Meltdown Drags guys DO get it.

   What started as a group of about 30 guys who just wanted to run their stuff on a race track is now a world wide spectacle. Racers come from near and far, and spectators come from all over the globe. It’s because these guys get it. They didn’t want to be a nostalgia race, they want the look and feel of a vintage drag meet, as they call it. They have succeeded by any measure. It is now the largest event held at Byron Dragway, surpassing even the Power Wheelstand event. In the beginning, the track wasn’t sure they even wanted this event since it would be bumping out a weekend of bracket racing.
  The criteria is simple. Your car must look like it would have raced in 1966. That means correct wheels, correct scoops, and of course correct vintage car. Got big Goodyear or Hoosier logos on your tires? Get ’em off. Snorkel hood scoop? Nope. Centerline wheels? No good. Dragsters are allowed modern roll cages for safety, but that’s about it.
  Think they have trouble getting folks to follow their simple but strict rules? Nope.
  Byron Dragway gets filled to capacity.
  They finally set a car count limit of 500, and the 2017 event filled up in 72 hours! You can request a spot on the stand-by list if someone drops out, but that’s it.
  Is this about money? It better not be, because there isn’t any. The Meltdown cats are all volunteers, and it’s a non profit organization. No prize money, no trophies. The Meltdown has tee shirt and other swag sales as their only income, it all goes back into the event. This is as pure as drag racing gets.
  Sure, they could move the event to Route 66 in Joliet or some other mega drag plant, but all agree that would ruin the feel of the event. Byron Dragway still has it’s original wood tower from 1964, and only recently had a third story added to it. The old timey snack bar is still in place serving up the best drag burgers and brats I’ve had anywhere.  Plus you’re racing towards the Byron Nuclear power plant cooling towers, it adds to the vibe.
  Be sure to clear your calendar on July 14 to 16 this year, and make plans to head to Byron Dragway in Byron Illinois. For more info,, or follow them on Facebook.
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6 thoughts on “Meltdown Drags 2017 Is Going To Be Bigger Than Ever! SOLD OUT IN 72 HOURS!

  1. Greg Rourke, post author

    I’d like to see somebody donate a Chrondek Timers tree to this event. Then it would be perfect.

  2. John Clark

    Thanks for showing this great shot of my Chevy II, the Clark Speed Special. We’ve been to the Meltdown 4 times now, and we’re going again this year. I’m not much for long distance towing, but it’s worth the 11 hour haul from Wichita, KS. The Meltdown Drags guys and the crew of Byron Dragway do a fantastic job of putting on the best vintage drags anywhere. The event is friendly, laid-back, and very well run. Anyone who wants to see true vintage racing needs to go to this race. You’ll be glad that you were there.

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