BYRON — The 2019 Meltdown Drags, which drew huge crowds to Byron Dragway in recent years, has been canceled, event organizers announced Thursday.

However, track officials are planning a similar event on the same weekend next July.

Jeff Koopmeiners, one of the seven founders, said the amount of time to run the Meltdown Drags had made it "more work than it was fun."

"Each of us guys spent probably 10 hours a week on it. We have normal jobs, wives and kids," Koopmeiners said. "It had become year-round nonstop work."

The Meltdown Drags, which began in 2010 with 30 entries, featured cars from 1966 or earlier that met specific criteria and excluded many modern upgrades. The cars did runs down the track but there were no organized races.

This year's event was limited to 450 cars, which was about half the number of applicants. The slots were filled within minutes of becoming available online and included cars from as far away as California.

In addition to the racing, the event includes a swap meet, car show and pinup contest.

The three-event event drew 10,017 fans from throughout the country this year despite inclement weather. The 2017 Meltdown Drags brought a track-record crowd of more than 13,000.

Koopmeiners said the group might revive the event in the future.

Meanwhile, track officials unveiled a replacement event Thursday called Glory Days at Byron Dragway. The vintage drag race, car show and swap meet will be July 19-21, 2019.

"We are picking up where the Meltdown left off," said track general manager Randy Simpson.

"It is going to embody a lot of the same qualities that made the Meltdown Drags great but will be a little more inclusive as we plan to expand beyond 1966 and older."

Simpson said further information about the requirements will be released shortly. Registration will open at midnight Jan. 2. Entries will be limited to the first 500 vehicles.

Byron will continue hosting the Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest, another vintage race in June.

Doug Goodman: 815-987-1390;; @DougEGoodman