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Meltdown Drags at Byron are no more

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After eight years, organizers of the popular Meltdown Drags at the Byron (Ill.) Dragway are calling it quits. 

“As it grew, so did the amount of time and people it took to manage it,” stated a Nov. 8 e-mail from Paul Zielsdorf, an event organizer. “As you all know, this event has become more work than fun for the crew. As a result, we have decided to take a step back and not have the Meltdown Drags 2019.”

The first event was held in 2010 from an idea “conceived in a basement five years earlier,” added Zielsdorf. “We just wanted a fun place to race our vintage cars; hence the term we coined: ‘vintage drag meet.’ The Meltdown was the first event of its kind with strict criteria.”

The original purpose of the Meltdown Drags was to get old drag cars from the 1960s out of hiding and back onto the race track, said the organizers. With that goal met, and the task of continuing to do so proving daunting, organizers plan to focus on their two other events.

In addition to the Meltdown Drags, organizers also host the Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest, also at Byron Dragway, and the Fall-Out drags at Rock Falls (Wis.) Dragway. These two events will continue; for more information, go to

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