Congratulations to all the year-end divisional champions who were crowned at the NHRA Banquet on Sat. night, January 13, at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Tip of the hat to a trio of racers who were inducted into the 2024 class of the NHRA Northwest Division 6 Hall of Fame.
Unquestionably the greatest showman to call Idaho his home, Ed “the Outlaw” Jones was honored with the special NHRA Wally trophy. Spanning a career of nearly 50 years in the sport, Ed, along with his wife Wendy, have made exhibition runs at facilities around the country. Annually, fans get an opportunity to watch him perform live at both the Fox Hunt and Nightfire events every Summer at Firebird.
Long known for his series of “Boredom Zero” Nitro Funny Cars, Mike Miller was a fixture at a multitude of dragstrips including Firebird in the late-60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Mike was a two-time Nightfire 500 winner in 1975 and 1977. One of the more interesting stories occurred in the late-70’s when Bill New arranged to have him bring his Funny Car to town early. Arrangements were made to host a Funny Car Fire-Up inside a downtown Disco-themed Night Club. Complete with neon lights and a smoke show created from dry ice, he lit the nitro burner in the club for about 30 seconds. It was an adrenaline rush that left everyone in tears from a 100% blast of nitro, INSIDE! Sensory overload to the ears, eyes and nose!!
The third honoree was Jerry Goddard, a fixture in the Northwest Division for many years. He first competed at Firebird with a AA/C dragster that raced at the inaugural World Championship Series in 1969. He also participated in Pro Comp and Top Alcohol/Dragster. His daughter and son-in-law, Mindy and Brian Hough race a variety of cars on the NHRA tour, including the #4 finishing TA/FC in this year’s national chase. His grandson Dylan Hough collected the 2022 D6 Top Dragster title, and finished second overall in 2023.
Additional Idaho racers who were recognized included: Zach Meziere (Team Finals Super Pro ROC and Main Event champion), Paxton Squire (Jr. Street), Cody Waisner (Sportsman) and Team Firebird for earning the 2023 Summit E.T. Finals Track Manager’s Cup crown.
Photo credit: Jason Ellis, Rich Carlson and Ken Rhodes.