2008 Firebird Awards Banquet

Friends and families gathered for Firebird's final event of the 2008 NHRA Drag Racing Season. A capacity audience gathered for the two and a half hour presentation of awards and recognition. In addition, all six Boise Muffler/Spangler Bros-Auto Body Paint & Glass Gold Cup track champion's rides were showcased inside the expansive DoubleTree Riverside hotel.
The festive night featured a number of memorable speeches. Perhaps the most noteworthy came from Outlaw Street two-time track champ Joseph Karnes. In his own affable way, Karnes playfully described an evening of racing in the High School & Alumni Series. If you bump into Joseph this winter, be sure and ask him about the new Firebird racing classes, both Pro Shopping Cart and Outlaw Baby Stroller that he portrayed during his colorful acceptance speech.
Joe Witherspoon also stole the evening when he presented a surprise bouquet of flowers to both his wife and sister. He certainly gained the admiration of many, including NHRA Division 6 Director Jonathan Adams who recognized the special gesture during his speech.
Not to be overshadowed, the crowd gave John Wood a standing ovation after has was announced as the 23rd Racemaster. A stunned Wood was very complimentary and sincere during his closing comments.
We'd like to say thanks to Matt Greenway for his masterful job of orchestrating all the music during evening, Gene Aguilar for his top-notch photography, and Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian for putting together yet another action-packed closing video presentation featuring all the 2008 Track Champions.

Displayed within the Ballroom of the DoubleTree Riverside were the cars of all six Gold Cup champions (including Paul Nicolosi, top right, and Ed Cutler, bottom right).
Joined by Rod Page with Boise Muffler, center-back row, are all the 2008 Firebird Track Champions with their award plaques and black wool-leather sleeved embroidered jackets.
John Wood, 2nd from right, was acknowledged as the 23rd recipient of the coveted Racemaster award from the New family.
Mtn. View High School won their first "AAA" High School season-end championship as Firebird's Ed Weigt, top right, joined the Mavericks for this presentation.
Easily the most energetic and enthusiastic group attending this year's Banquet was the second place finishing High School team of the Eagle Mustangs.
The Middleton Vikings (pictured) won the "AA" prep championship by a mere two points over rival Kuna High.
The Melba Outlaws won an unprecedented 12th Silver Cup Club Championship presented by Firebird's Vance Gabiola (left).
Headed up by Shayne and Nick Schaefer (right), the Hot Shots earned the Bronze Cup year-end title.
Earning their first Club title, the Modern Rodders led by Randy Lyons, right, were all smiles after holding off the Bowtie Bandits for the Copper Cup crown.
Rod Page awarded Rookie of the Year top vote getter Liana Compton her special Spud plaque.
Voted on by his piers as the Most Improved Driver of `08, Jeff Higgins is joined here by Firebird's Jason Fry (left).
Glen Phillips took home the automotive treasure chest basket from the New Crew after earning this year's Goodguy's plaque. Page and John New joined Phillips.
After blowing up the equivalent of what a team might go thru in a decade this past season, both Tim & Rose Shaw were presented the Outstanding Perseverance award by Page.
Middleton's Bruce Stewart was voted Best Appearing Car of 2008.
Sportsman track champion Joe Witherspoon recognized both his wife and sister with a bouquet of flowers.
Kristi Shawver was awarded the Rising Star plaque.
Selected as the Top Lady Racer of `08, Jennifer Barr enjoyed a dream season with her Pro bracket Mustang.
Ed Cutler was voted Racer of the Year. He not only won his first Super Pro track title and the Race of Champions class at the Summit E.T. Finals, but he went onto race at the NHRA World Finals in Pomona where he finished fifth overall.
Firebird Director of Safety Brad Stewart was presented the Staff Member of the Year plaque by Tony Van.
Chief starter Joel Eggers was recognized for his second Staff Race victory over the past three years.
Bob Towery was all smiles after being awarded the Official of the Year honors.
Fifty-six Firebird racers successfully scored their "Drive for Five" Team Wally trophy this past Labor Day weekend. Next year has already been coined the "Six-Pack Attack" (thanks to the imagination of Scott Downard), so start making your plans to join the Tour de Firebird for next September's Summit E.T. Finals. All 56 racers and 4 team captains were awarded embroidered red jackets from Firebird and Summit.
NHRA Division 6 Director Jonathan Adams handed off the Wally trophy to the New Crew officially acknowledging Team Firebird's fifth Summit E.T. Finals track title.
Images by Gene Aguilar


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