The founder of the Treasure Valley's drag strip has passed away. The Firebird Raceway web site says Billy Joe New died of natural causes at his home surrounded by his family.

Billy was born in Bisbee, Arizona on August 16, 1934. In 1968 Bill New brought organized drag racing to the Treasure Valley at a site off Highway 16. Before the drag strip was built, the only controlled racing in the area took place on either Gowen road or on Glenwood Blvd.

Family members are proud of his accomplishments and the many lives he touched operating a family business for nearly half a century. Bill New not only built Firebird raceway, but also was the original producer of the Boise Roadster Show.