Built For Speed
South Hill racer Brooke Lefor takes first nationals
by Shawn Skager of The Herald
It did not take long for Kim Lefor to realize that his daughter
Brooke was made for racing. Her first time ever on a track at age 6, in
a quarter midget racecar, Brooke showed her mettle.
“The very first time she went out in the car, she went through the
wall,” Kim said. “She didn’t even make it a lap. Bent the car all up.”
From a driving standpoint, it was not the most auspicious start to a
career — but it was how Brooke handled the wreck that Kim said he knew
he had a racer on his hands.
“I looked over there and didn’t know if she was laughing or crying,
so I ran over there and she was laughing,” he said. “She wanted more.
So, I knew she was hooked. That’s one of the biggest tests, when they
get in a wreck and still want to race.”
Brooke, now 14, is a ninth grader at Ferrucci Junior High School.
For as long as she can remember, she wanted to race. She watched as
her older brother Brett flirted with racing, before finding his niche
with soccer at Emerald Ridge High School.
“He started racing quarter midgets, but he didn’t like that, so we
hung the car on the wall,” Brooke said. “I remember always looking at
the car on the wall and asking him (Kim) to take it down.”
“Ever since she was small, she’d ask if she could drive the car,” Kim
said. “When she got old enough we took it down.”
Brooke said she does not remember her first races — not surprising
since they were nine years ago.
For seven years, Brooke garnered experience in quarter midgets.
“She ran just about all the classes with the quarter midgets,” Kim
said. “They do about 35 miles per hour, the faster ones.”
Soon, however, Brooke and her father knew it was time to step up to a
different class of racing.
Two years ago, the Lefors invested in a mini-cup car a scaled down
late model stock car replica.
“Mini-cups start out at ages 8 to 16 and have an adult class,” Kim
said. “They are a good step for if you want to go further, I think,
because you’re getting some time on a big track. They do about 75-80 mph
on a 3/8ths of a mile track in Tenino, about 65 mph in Spanaway.”
With Kim and Brett helping with the mechanical aspects of the car,
Brooke was soon zipping around the track in her mini-cup.
“It was really different stepping up, the steering and everything is
all different,” she said. “But a lot of the guys who I race mini cup
with I raced midgets with so I knew how they drove.”
Most of the time, Brooke said she is the only girl out on the track.
Differential treatment and trash talk from the boys is not a problem,
“They don’t really have much to say when I beat them,” Brooke said.
And she beats them often.
In her first year of racing, Brooke took fifth in the region in her
This past year, she finished first at the 2003 Miniature Motorsports
Racing Association Grand Nationals at the South Sound Speedway in
Tenino, Aug. 9 and 10.
Brooke said that although she is enjoying the mini-cups, she hopes to
someday step up to the full size cars.
“I want to race late-models,” she said. “Well, I want to race a lot
of stuff. Anything I can.”
According to Brooke, her ultimate dream is to climb behind the wheel
of a NASCAR Winston Cup car. Brooke’s appetite for racing NASCAR was
whet by a recent trip to Vegas and a spin in a Winston Cup car.
“We went to Las Vegas to race quarter midgets,” she said. “While we
were there we went to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and did a ride along
in a NASCAR. That was pretty fun. I think we went about 160 m.p.h.”
Brooke, who is sponsored by South Hill Slots, Finish Line Racing
Collectibles and Lords of Thee Asphalt, said she likes to spend her down
“I shoot .22s at Paul Bunyan,” she said. “But I do that all year.”
Brooke said she competes at target shooting, participating in
competitions in Olympia, Wenatchee and Seattle.
For Kim, who comes from a motocross racing background, fear of his
daughter getting hurt is not a real issue.
“I never really worried when she was in cars,” he said. “I got beat
up pretty good in motocross, so that’s why we went to the cars. I’ve
never really worried about her in the cars, though. My wife, was really
nervous when Brooke got into the cars.”
For Brooke, however it all comes down to the one thing that keeps her
“I like the adrenaline rush,” she said.