After winning two straight Northwest Super Late Model Series championships and becoming only the second female driver to ever win a Super Late Model touring series championship in the process, Brittney Zamora made the jump to what is now the ARCA Menards Series West in 2019. The Washington driver received the call from Bill McAnally Racing to drive the No. 99 full-time, while also making select Super Late Model starts when her schedule allowed.
Zamora parlayed the opportunity into a top-five points result in her rookie season, scoring six top fives and two poles in 14 starts, with best finishes of third at Tuscon and Evergreen Speedways. It also saw her venture out east for the first time to make select starts with the ARCA Menards Series East.
The former Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist saw 2019 as an overall success.
“My rookie year in the K&N Series was pretty good. You have the quirks that you’re going to get with a new car and a new crew and a new traveling experience,” Zamora told Speed51.com. “To get more of the career-type experience from it and traveling all over the country and the sponsorship events and everything I was lucky enough to be able to do, it was a lot of fun. We had some mechanical failures that really held us back in points but we had the poles, we had the top threes, the top fives. It was a pretty successful season, I think.”
Making the switch from a lighter Super Late Model to a full-size Stock Car has often not been easy for drivers moving up the ranks. Zamora went into the 2019 season looking to simplify the process while learning to drive the heavier Stock Car.
“I kind of went into it like, ‘Okay, it’s a stock car and it’s an oval track, I’m used to the power and everything,’” she said. “Just the driving style of the different cars, people reference the K&N cars as like truck or boats or school buses because they’re so hard to turn. The wheel that you put into a Super is very responsive and the wheel that you put into a K&N car is not.”
While the Stock Car threw her for a loop while getting acclimated to it, she admits the difference in racing style between the two posed a bigger challenge. From the relatively cleaner nature of Super Late Model racing she was normally used to, she had to start being more aggressive.
“It takes more elbow-up type of driving; the aggression is different. I came up from Super Late Models where if you turn somebody to get past them or spin them out you’re going to the back with them,” she said. “That was something I had to get used to, it was a habit I had to break. I had to get used to roughing people up a little more than I used to. It was fun, it’s a part of racing. It’s how it goes if you continue to go up the ladder to race in NASCAR.”
With a possible return to the ARCA Menards Series West and select Super Late Model stars planned for 2020, Zamora is keeping her goal for the year simple. That is, once her schedule is made official.
“I think I’ll have to figure that out once I know exactly what my schedule is, like what races and tracks and stuff. If it’s the same tracks I’ve visited last year, I’ll want to improve on the results from the previous time out when I was there. Just keep getting better as a driver.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51