The 49th Annual Firebird Award’s Banquet officially brought the 2016 NHRA Drag Racing Season to a close on Saturday night, November 19, 2016. Held in the Ballroom of The Riverside Hotel in Boise, the Banquet featured an evening packed with variety of awards, including $15,000 in cash and prizes.

Selected as the 31st recipient of Firebird’s Racemaster award, John Shaffer earned the special honor after having raced for the better part of the past thirty years in Super Pro. A multiple track champion, the 2001 Division 6 Super Pro champion was the first racer from Idaho to earn a spot to compete for the Summit national championship in Pomona.

Voted on by his piers, Sean Shaffer was acknowledged as the Bracket Racer of the Year. Shaffer, son of the Racemaster recipient, also won the Super Pro Track Championship. Sweeping honors for “Lady Driver of the Year” was Pro eliminator standout Lisa Thomas.

The festive night included all the presentations in the Boise Muffler Gold Cup Series. Champions included: Joe Witherspoon-Pro; Troy McDonald-Sportsman; Jacob Wood-Sled/Bike; Don Trafford-Street Bike; Stephanie Meimann-Alumni; Sallie Taylor-High School; Middleton High-High School “AAA”; Emmett High-High School “AA”; Hannah VanderMeer-Junior; Ryan Resinkin-Outlaw Street and Street Truck; Bret Ward-Factory Muscle; Patrick Bailey-Nostalgia, and Jaymes Buchanan-Super Shifter.

Special awards were also presented to: Brad Todd-Most Improved Driver; Tim Shawver and his Down `n Dirty Club-Outstanding Crew; Michael Jaggers-Rookie of the Year; Steve Rogers-Good Guys; Lonnie & Brady Jesser-Perseverance; Gary Kruger-Team Member of the Year; Rayce Kidd-Best Appearing; and Layne Fiscus-Perfect Light Club winner.