Since the origins of Firebird first came to life some fifty-five years ago, we have had the good fortune of hosting an array of fine announcers who call the action at events like our Nightfire Nationals. For the third consecutive year, we feel incredibly lucky to have the uber-talented Brian Lohnes take up residency for three days and nights in Firebird’s Race Control Tower.

Let’s be perfectly honest, Lohnes is an extraordinary master of the microphone. He gets it. The energy and enthusiasm is like no other. Sure, we  have worked and been associated with many of the best to ever call a race. Names like McClelland, Frey, Schroeder, Partridge, Evans, Wong and the list goes on and on.

But there is only one wunderkind within the speaker system in our sport. Lohnes is THE MAN!!!!

Get this – from 7:45 am until nearly 11 pm, over three consecutive days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, he delivered more entertainment and passionate vibes than you could pack into Disneyland on the week after school lets out. Don’t really care if the phrase rock star is over used in today’s society – this dude is a bonafide ROCK STAR of the highest order when it comes to talking into the mike!

Add this into the equation, too. Brian could be doing literally anything he wants on his off weekend (between working for both Fox and  the NHRA on the national tour). He could be at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Knoxville Nationals, Night Under Fire in Norwalk, vacationing in Hawaii, taking a cruise or gallivanting around the world for that matter. But he chooses Boise. We are not only honored, but damn proud of the fact he likes our venue and event enough to put it on his annual planning calendar in August.

We just want to say THANK YOU to Brian for doing what he does. His talent, attitude, insight and expertise is second to none.

At the same time, we wanted to tell him how much we appreciate his candid and kind words on social media about his Firebird Experience. For those who may not have read it, we kindly re-share his expressive thoughts below –


The nuts and bolts mechanics of running a drag race have really been fascinating to me since I was a kid and first start to see the inside of how this all “works”.

I have seen complete dysfunction and chaos and I have seen streamlined events where the whole thing was on greased rails without a hiccup. In the middle is where most places exist and how most events are executed.
Weather, wrecks, malfunctions, and human error are all part of the game in this sport. Any one of them can take an otherwise placid surface and turn it into a churning cauldron of awfulness.

Famoso Dragstrip mgr. Blake Bowser & Lohnes

I gain the most respect for teams and facilities when they are faced not with “easy” days (which still have their own challenges) but when they have to employ their whole toolbox to keep the train on the tracks.

If everyone in drag racing could spend a weekend inside the machine known as Firebird Raceway we’d have a better sport.

Three days, about a half dozen eliminators each day and all the twists and turns Mother Nature could conjure, along with some stoppages that ranged from the mundane to the heart-stopping and the entire event was completed with a level of efficiency, performance, and professional etiquette seldom found anywhere.

When the going gets tough at Firebird, people bear down, communicate, and execute. What a thing to behold.

Blow out crowds on Friday and Saturday, fantastic nitro competition, and relentless sportsman racing all weekend long. It is no wonder racers from the west and fans from all over the country make the pilgrimage to this most wonderful gem of a drag strip.

Three years into being at this event and I leave every time reaffirmed about the heart and soul of drag racing. Tracks run with dedicated leadership, by plain spoken operators who make their staff feel empowered and part of a common goal will always win.

If only they could all be this way.

Thanks to the New family for having me back. Firebird forever.