Dear Byron Dragway racing family-

As announced earlier this summer, after more than 30 years of owning and operating the dragway, BJ and Rhonda Vangsness entered into a purchase agreement to sell Byron Dragway Inc. We are happy to announce that transaction has closed, effective August 12th.  A heartfelt “thank you” and “congratulations” goes out to BJ, Rhonda, and the entire Vangsness family.  The dragway would not enjoy the success it does today if it were not for their passion, hard work and commitment to providing the best experience for their customers.

Byron Dragway has long been recognized as one of the finest and safest racing facilities in the United States, and just as importantly, a family-owned operation that prioritizes customer satisfaction.  Looking to the future, we are happy to reinforce the message that not only will Bryon Dragway remain a racing facility, but also will retain and enhance the experiences for customers that have given it such praise and respect for nearly 60 years.

So, what does the future hold for Byron Dragway?  First and foremost, it will remain a racetrack. Beyond that, initially, not much will change; it is our intent to keep all of the staff and operations running undisturbed, and in fact, BJ and Rhonda will remain involved in the business through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.  But looking to the future, it is our intent to invest in and expand the business.  For example, our plans include to:

• Expand days and hours of operation throughout the season, including more nighttime racing and evening events

• Improve the facilities of the track, including new scoreboards, updated and expanded bathroom facilities and other improvements in the property

• Add additional events and services throughout the racing season.

For many years, Byron Dragway nurtured a wonderful relationship with its customers, its neighbors, the entire Byron community, and beyond.  This is truly the foundation upon which the business is built, and one of the primary drivers of our ability to grow in the future. These relationships were built over years, and we are going to work hard every day to ensure these relationships will remain strong.  Our business vision is simple: continuously strive to provide customers with the best possible experience we can, and the rest will fall into place.  Without customers, we cannot remain in business, and we’ll work hard to gain and keep your trust as customers.  As such, the core principles we will embrace are:  

Safety – Safety is paramount to the racers and spectators, and we will never sacrifice safety for any reason.

Customer Satisfaction – We will strive to provide the utmost customer service as possible.  

Excellent Facilities – It is our job to provide you with the cleanest and friendliest facilities possible, the best racing surface, the most reliable timing system, and all other positive experiential factors we can.  

Enjoyment – Simply stated, whether you are a spectator or racer, it is our job to make sure you have smiles on your faces when you leave the dragway.  Racing is a family centric sport, and as a racing family ourselves, we understand the cost and commitment our sport takes, so we take seriously our job to provide value for your patronage.

Assuming control of the day-to-day operations as the General Manager of Byron Dragway is Jacob Steder.  Jake was born and raised in the local area, and as a fellow racer and chassis builder, he knows and understands the unique needs of the drag racing community.  Jacob will oversee all areas of operation and work with the staff to build on the legacy that Byron has brought to racing all these many decades.  Jake can be reached at 815-391-0000 or via email at

We are truly excited about what the future holds for Byron Dragway and the broader racing community in the Midwest.  One of the primary reasons for our acquisition of the business is to ensure that the facility remains a racetrack.  This was BJ and Rhonda’s goal all along as well, and as such, are just as dedicated as we are to build and grow the business in the future.  Honestly, it was very close to going another direction, which would have been the end of the dragway and the conclusion of nearly six decades of history in Byron.  In an era when dragstrips are closing at a record pace, we are very proud to say Byron Dragway will not be one!

We hope you are as excited as we are for what the future holds for the dragway, and that you continue to be satisfied customers for many more years to come.  Let’s go racing!

The Robertson Family