By Doug Schroder


BYRON – For Stillman Valley resident Chelsey Vangsness drag racing has been a large part of her life as she grew up around Byron Dragway, which her family owns.

“As far as drag racing, it is in my blood,” stated Chelsey.

She is a true lifetime fan and passionate racer, having learned all aspects of the sport. From handing out time slips, running the timing system on the computer in the tower, operating the front gate when racers arrive, to wrenching on her own Camaro and piloting it down the 1/4 mile.

Byron Dragway is a place she and her family and call home. They have dedicated their weekends over the years to allow others to enjoy this sport as much as they do. To them, it’s not just a hobby but a way of life. We have met some of the greatest people at Byron, people that have virtually become our second family.

Chelsey has been drag racing since she was 10, starting out in junior dragsters and moving up into the street class when she turned 16. She raced her Pontiac G6 for five years where she held a track championship as well as won an iron man in the same year.

About two years ago, her 2010 Chevrolet Camaro reached its completion. It has a 468 big block Chevy in it, naturally aspirated and runs 10.30’s at 130 mph in the 1/4 mile. The entire car was transformed into a drag car which consists of a funny car roll cage and full chassis equipped for speeds running in the 7’s.

It’s one step at a time and she is thoroughly enjoying her racecar as a competitor in the Super Pro No Box class. The competition is tough, but that’s what makes the challenge even more worth it for her!

Chelsey is 24-years old now, and makes a living as a registered nurse.

Her aspirations in racing are to add an additional few hundred-horse power to the already 700 horse her Camaro has. She would like to take it to some NHRA division races in the future, and continue owning and operating the drag strip with her family.

Chelsey’s biggest accomplishment in racing so far is taking a track championship title in 2012 in Street, as well as qualifying for the Division 3 ET bracket finals at Indy in each of the years she have been drag racing.

Outside of racing, Chelsey enjoy fishing up north as well as snowmobiling in the winter months.

Chelsey isn’t the only one in her family that races. Her brother has a ’97 Firebird that he races, and a cousin, Jeremy Vangsness, of Rockford, drives a ’74 Nova.

If you come out to the dragway on any given weekend, more than likely you will see Chelsey there with her dark blue Camaro.

Chelsey Vangsness 1

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