Malli has spent her years living along the West Coast, starting in California and moving to Washington state at the age of seven. She has been hooked on driving since a very young age, and in high school, her attention turned to the sport of rally. Spending her free time with friends on the backroads of Western Washington only made her love for the sport grow more and more. When DirtFish opened its doors, Malli jumped at the chance of driving a rally car for a couple of hours. Find out how that one class grew into a career here!
Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I originally grew up near Sacramento, California but moved to a little town called Rochester, Washington with my parents, brothers, five cats, two dogs and one horse.
How did you get involved in the sport of rally?
I had two of the most amazing best friends in high school, and one of them owned an amazing Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS that we would rally in the woods of Capital Forest in Olympia after school. We also loved watching rally videos and would pretend we were rally drivers when we would cruise to Brooklyn which is where Olympus Rally stages were ACTUALLY driven (we thought that was really cool)! Growing up in the country, my friends and I would also go play in the horse pastures with the family truck from the time I was ten years old and pretend we were race car drivers while sitting on phone books and thinking we were going really fast.
What made you want to work for DirtFish?
Well, I was on my way to nursing school back in 2012 after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree and I was given a Two Hour class as a present! I was hooked at the very moment I walked in the doors to DirtFish… I saved up all my money for a Half Day program and at the completion of that class, my life completely changed. The Lead Instructor at that time asked if I would be interested in being an instructor and was able to schedule me for a Three Day program to see if I really had what it would take! After the Three Day class ended, availability to further train was pretty limited and I was driving 220 miles roundtrip to DirtFish, so I basically begged my way into working at DirtFish in any capacity full time so I could move up north. I started working at the front desk, and almost five years later, after working in each department except for the shop, I am now incredibly proud and fortunate to be the General Manager of DirtFish!
What made you choose DirtFish over any other company? And, why rally over other motorsports?
DirtFish had me hooked years ago because I immediately noticed that the entire team was passionate about the company, genuine and they cared deeply about the customer experience and the overall quality of what they provide- plus, who WOULDN’T want to work at a rally school?! I wanted to be a part of that team! Why rally? Rally drivers are the best drivers in the entire world; they have to be able to be accurate, fast and drive anything that comes their way, whether it be driving on ice, snow, gravel, mud, tarmac, heading over jumps, bridges, acute turns, everything and anything… AT SPEED! Just try and name any other kind of driver in motorsports that can do all of that and do it well.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I ride my handsome steed, Scorch in my free time and hang out with my two cats, Tulley and Binx. I also enjoy rescuing feral kittens/cats (any animals really), domesticating them and finding them forever homes. I LOVE driving and spend time going on drives every now and then to explore the gorgeous PNW.
What is your racing history and background? How long have you been racing?
I don’t race cars… but I have done endurance races with Scorch (my horse)! We usually come in the top 10!
I have co-driven three times and I don’t think I will ever do it again. I am too much of a control freak and would MUCH rather be driving.
What kind of car do you drive daily?
I drive the love of my life- Vix, short for Vixen. She is a 2007 Toyota Tacoma 4×4, extended cab, six speed manual, gorgeously maroon in color, who is 10k miles away from 300,000 miles! BEST TRUCK EVER.
What kind of jams do you listen to while cruising to work in the morning?
I listen to all kinds of music; The Beatles, The Black Keys, Bob Marley, Modest Mouse, The Bahamas, Atmosphere, Florence and the Machine, Doobie Brothers… the list goes on!
What else should the DirtFish fans know about you?
I love my job and I want everyone to come experience DirtFish! Also, my goal in 20 years is to start a retirement center for people and animals that will have a myriad of amazing activities, but one of the best parts about it is that it will also have a rally school called, “Old’s Cool School”- thank you to an amazing student of ours and friend of mine, Joan Walsh who gave me the idea for the school name!