This is a tough one to embrace. Bill Muchow was the real deal. He was old school, someone that was the honest to goodness salt of the earth. He was loved far and wide throughout our entire Firebird racing fraternity.
Sadly, Bill passed away at the age of 86, on January 25, 2023.
The service will be conducted at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery 2/17/23 at 11 am with Brunch afterward at the Melba Legion Hall. Full obituary and Tribute page.
A founding member of the Melba Outlaws club, Bill was not only a key member in recruiting team mates, but also a very competitive racer. He was instrumental in helping the club win countless year-end titles over better than a thirty-five year time span of the Club Challenge Series.
Reflecting back in time, we presented Bill with the 26th Racemaster award at our Award’s Banquet in 2011. It was an evening we had an opportunity to not only recognize this pioneer of our raceway, but also to say thank you to his years of support and friendship. He truly loved Drag Racing and all the people who shared a common bond with our sport.
Looking back in time, we thought it would be fitting to share the Racemaster presentation as told by Firebird’s Scott New from that November evening some twelve years ago.
It won’t take long before you recognize who will be this year’s selection for Racemaster. This person has been around the Firebird scene for a long, long time.
But, before I jump into this any further, it’s been our distinct pleasure over the past twenty-five years to reveal our selection for Racemaster. On behalf of the New family, we annually recognize one person who embodies the heritage behind what this sport of drag racing is all about.
Started back in 1987, we’ve presented the Racemaster to racers, crew, track staff, members of the racing industry, the media and sponsors. In reality it could be anyone who fits the description— “Recognizing years of dedication and support for Drag Racing in Idaho, more specifically Firebird Raceway.”
Tonight we will honor a person that not only enjoys Motorsports, but someone that is respected amongst his piers throughout the world of racing.
Tracing back in time, he goes all the way back to the beginning of Firebird Raceway. And if there’s one thing that you’ll quickly pick up about this person – he is a Ford man from top to bottom, blue oval tried `n true.
To be quite honest, he is as old school as they come. He’s not afraid of speaking his mind when he needs to and I can personally tell you from past experience, he typically gets right to the point and doesn’t need anyone else’s help. If he has an issue or argument to be told – you’ll know it within the blink of an eye what he might be bothered by and what needs to be done to solve the situation. But once he’s done getting it off his chest, he’s the first to shake your hand and move on.
But I must tell ya at the same time, he is as loyal to his friends and family as anyone we’ve crossed paths with in many moons.
All of us in the New family have the greatest respect for not only this person’s love of the sport, but his allegiance to Firebird, which is second to none.
He started racing at Firebird when the track first opened. As he recollects, he attended the track’s first race on July 29, 1968. And true to his “Mr. Explosion” shoebox Ford backed by Bob’s Texaco – he was as dedicated to the FOMOCO brand then as he is today. Long before bracket racing was ever invented; this was a time when you raced typically heads up against a coupe or sedan as a gasser, altered or modified production.
His stories have always been fun to listen to, many of which he has shared over the years. I guess when you’ve been a part of our community for as long as he has, it’s pretty simple to recount what some might paraphrase as the good, the bad and the ugly.
What’s quite interesting to me, when I look back to when we first had a chance to visit a couple decades ago – he raced in the early years and then took about ten to fifteen years off from the sport to spend more time with the family, then returned again to track and hasn’t missed a beat since, not that he hasn’t bumped up against a challenge or two along the way. He’s one of less than a handful of people that has raced at every single Club Challenge event dating all the way back to when we first started the Friday Fun Drags.
If you’ve ever had a chance just to spend a few minutes with this person, you can’t do anything but like him. He’s someone you garner instant respect and admiration from. Bill is a military veteran. He spent many a years working for the Boise Fire Department before retiring many years ago. He was also a member dating back to the early 1960’s of the Midnight Lords hot rod club and has a racing pedigree dating back to the days of Gowen Field Road, which was used as a site for legal and organized drag racing in the 50’s and early 60’s.
Tonight’s Firebird Hall of Fame type of award more than fits the person we’ve selected to close out our 2011 Banquet and our 44th season of NHRA Drag Racing. This individual has made drag racing and more specifically Firebird a big part of his life, even at a youthful 75 years of age.
Our honoree this evening will become the 26th Racemaster, and without question he certainly epitomizes what this award is all about…Ladies and Gentleman, it is our distinct pleasure to acknowledge our 2011 selection for Racemaster: Mr. Bill Muchow
Bill was admired and respected by literally everyone who came to know him. On behalf of the New family and our entire staff, sincerest condolences to every member of the Muchow family, friends and acquaintances.
God speed, Bill.
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