R.I.P. MELTDOWN DRAGS (2010-2018)
Little did we know when we attended the 2018 Meltdown Drags at Byron Dragway last July (“Scene at the 2018 Meltdown Drags,” Jan. 2018; bit. ly/2azfjgn) that the curtain was destined to fall on one of the best independently staged, freestyle nostalgia drag races in the country. The November announcement by the Meltdown Drags Association (a division of Vintagedragracing101.com) came as a bolt out of the blue.
“With the event’s phenomenal growth, the Meltdown Drags has become more work than fun for our all-volunteer crew,” said Meltdown Drags committee V.P. Paul Zielsdorf. “Getting the necessary help needed to stage an event of this magnitude has become problematic, so we’ve decided to take a step back and take a breather in 2019.”
However, that’s not the end of the 30-member Meltdown Drags Association by any means.
“We’re going to take a break from the craziness and go out and have a little fun,” said Zielsdorf. “We plan on racing our cars [consisting of a mix of vintage blown and injected gassers and altereds, with a matchrace stocker or two thrown in for good measure] as a group at select events next summer.”
It’s also not the end of the Meltdown Drags Association as a promotional body, Zielsdorf continued. “We’ll still be staging our two other events. Our Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest will be held at Byron Dragway June 29, 2019. This event is a bit more structured than the Meltdown Drags was and quite a bit smaller. Cars are allowed to compete with piecrust slicks only.
“Then we have our Fallout No. 4 nostalgia drag racing event, which will be held at Rock Falls Raceway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, September 20-21, sort of a Meltdown Drags type of event on a much smaller scale.”
At this juncture it should be noted that Byron Dragway is planning an in-house replacement for the Meltdown Drags of its own called Glory Days. More on that event as it develops.
NEW VINTAGENEW VINTAGE: The vintage drag racing approach fostered by the Meltdown Drags Association appealed to folks who wanted a low-key, fun racing event. The recent race drew nearly 400 competitors despite dicey weather.
WHEELSTANDING WILLYS: Wild wheelstands, like this moonshot by Don Moyer’s B/gas ’41 Willys, were part of the Meltdown action and drew spectators by the thousands. WHEELSTANDING WILLYS