It isn’t the first racing facility on the National Register of Historic Places, but Firebird Raceway, near Eagle, Idaho, has become the first dragstrip to make it onto the list. A family-owned facility since Bill and Ellanor New brought the facility to life in 1968, Firebird has changed little in the fifty-one years since the first event, that saw a packed house and Bob Riggle and the Hurst “Hemi Under Glass” Barracuda wheelstander providing a show. With a bracket racing series that dates back to 1976 and a high-school drag racing program that is just as old, Firebird has been a solid friend to the racer, a track that was designed to be away from the housing developments from the get-go, a place that was simple and straightforward. The track was laid down in a valley that allowed the stands to be placed higher than the track itself. While certain elements of Firebird have been upgraded, either out of necessity or to align with NHRA regulations, much of the track is as it was when it first opened up.
In the relatively short lifetime of the track, Firebird Raceway has made a strong commitment to the state of Idaho as a safe, racer-friendly and spectator-friendly place for drag racing to take place, and that has all been due to the work of the New family, who have kept Firebird going even after Bill New’s passing in 2014. The desert plains of the Treasure Valley hide a true gem in the hills, one that we are glad to see gain the recognition that it deserves!