Almost from the day she was born, Kennewick’s Brittney Zamora she was destined to race cars.
“From the time I was four days old, that was the first time I was out at the track (the old Tri-City Raceway),” she said. “I’ve always been getting ready for races.”
Starting with go-karts.
“I always did go-karts from the age of 5 to 13,” Zamora said.
She even had a Barbie jeep that she would race around in her backyard, tearing it up.
Zamora was always successful and continued to move up to bigger machines.
So maybe it’s no surprise that the 19-year-old Kennewick woman won another NorthWest Super Late Model Series Championship – her second consecutive season title in the series. She clinched the title on Sunday night at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval.
Not bad for a family-operated team that had no plans this year to race full-time in the NWSLMS.
“Originally at the beginning of the season, we were just going to race in the NASCAR Whelen Series at Evergreen Speedway (in Monroe),” said Zamora. “We were going to be hit and miss with the Northwest Series.”
But Zamora was able to compete in the first two races of that series.
“We finished second in one and first in the other,” she said. “So we had the points lead after two races. We decided at that point to squeeze in the second series.”
That means Brittney, her father Mike Zamora, grandfather Sam Morris, and uncle Larry Hewitt had their work cut out for them all season to make sure the equipment was working well.
Team Zamora would race in two full series this year. That’s 18 races.
Winning the NWSLMS title is one thing this past Sunday. Zamora had compiled enough points in the series that all she had to do was get the starting points – be running when the green flag is dropped – that she’d clinch the season title.
“And that took the pressure of winning off of me,” she said.
So what did she do? She won the race anyway.
And ironically, as a second-year driver last year in the series, she was in the same situation in East Wenatchee. And she won that race too.
“I don’t really have a secret,” Zamora said. “The age people expect us to perform at our best keeps getting lower and lower. There are teenagers racing in the Truck series and the ARCA series.”
And Zamora herself wants to move up the racing ladder.
“That’s the main focus,” she said. “Our family is tapped out on the budget for what we’ve done this year. To progress any higher, we’d have to get picked up.”
That’s where Toyota Racing comes in.
Zamora earned a three-race deal through the Toyota Racing Development diversity combine this season, driving for High Point Racing.
In her first event for High Point, Zamora finished ninth, then sixth, in twin 35-lap races.
In her next event, she finished third, then fifth in the twin 35-lap races.
She’s headed to the Bullring in Las Vegas to run for High Point Racing on Oct. 19-20. In addition, she’ll be racing her own Super Late Model in another race there in what is called the Senators Cup Fall Classic.
That’ll be 250 main event laps total for the two events.
“The Bullring in Vegas is one of the top three biggest races of the year,” Zamora said. “A lot of people will be at this racing.”
Zamora is hoping Toyota will pick her up after this season. Or she hopes she’ll get invited to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine in North Carolina.
There is a good chance something like that will happen.
But if that were not to happen, expect Zamora to be back in 2019 to defend her NWSLMS title and go for a three-peat.
ROUNDUP: Former Southridge standout Shawn O’Malley finished the baseball season for the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A farm team, the Alburquerque Isotopes, with the team naming him the recipient of the Mr. Hustle Award. “O’Malley always came through for his club whether it meant leading off a game, stealing a base, coming in off the bench, dropping down a bunt or playing a multitude of positions in the field,” said the team. O’Malley finished the season with a .279 batting average, 1 home run and 16 RBIs.
… Kamiakin grad Carlee Rowell, now a sophomore at Bellevue College, was named the Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball player of the week on Sept. 12.
… The first NWAC coaches polls are out. The NWAC East is tough in volleyball. The top three spots belong to NWAC East teams: Spokane, North Idaho and Blue Mountain. Walla Walla Community College is ranked eighth. In men’s soccer, Tacoma is the top-ranked team. Walla Walla is fifth, while CBC is eighth. In the women’s soccer poll, Highline is ranked first, while Spokane is third and Yakima Valley eighth.
… The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has announced that Gesa Stadium in Pasco will host the 2019 Class 4A and 3A state baseball semifinals and finals next May.
… Dyestat.com has the Kamiakin boys cross country ranked No. 1 in the Northwest Region in its latest poll, released Sept. 20.
… Former Richland High standout Adam Weissenfels is now a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy and is playing sprint football. In the team’s 45-7 win over Franklin Pierce in the opener, Weissenfels had 2 tackles (1 for loss) and an interception. … In our latest installment of What-Has-Brenden Kelly-Done-This-Week, the Southridge High grad caught 10 passes for 265 yards, including a 97-yard TD pass, to help Eastern Oregon defeat Montana Western 54-51 in three overtimes. Kelly, a senior at EOU, now has 29 catches for 620 yards and two TDs for the 2-2 Mountaineers.
… Finally, Hanford High grads Desmond Samples and Thomas Kitchens are playing football at Yuba College in California. Kitchens has caught a few passes as a receiver for the JC football team. Samples is the team’s starting quarterback. In a 37-34 win over Los Medanos, Samples had 158 yards passing, two touchdown passes, and 35 yards rushing.