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2016 Meltdown Drags

Pics and Story : Hot rod Dan Photo

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A Return To The Golden Age Of Drag Racing…

2016 marked the 7th annual gathering of died in the wool drag racers known as the Meltdown Drags.  Once again, racers and fans from every corner of the country and Canada converged on Byron Dragway in Byron, Illinois to step back in time for a couple of days and relive drag racings glory days.

Paul Zielsdorf and his band of volunteers (all donning white, button down Meltdown Drags shirts and white pants as was the practice of the day) again managed to bring in many of the best vintage drag racers, much to the delight of the throngs of fans who pored through the gates. 600 plus race cars, including front engine dragsters, gassers, fuel coupes, altereds, Super Stockers and era correct street cars did battle late into the night, all weekend. Saturday evening festivities included a parade of historic race cars down the quarter mile.

In addition to the nonstop racing action, there is a sizeable swap meet full of vintage “go-fast” parts and a nice gathering of hot rods, customs and muscle cars in the show field.  If you’re wondering about the name “Meltdown Drags”, the cooling towers of the Byron Nuclear Generating Station can be seen in the distance beyond the end of the strip. A little tongue in cheek if you will.

If these photos don’t convince you to attend next year’s Meltdown, just ask anyone who has been there. This event is a must not miss for any fan of drag racing as it used to be.


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