Natalie Decker celebrated her birthday in style by grabbing a top-10 finish in her first trip to Gateway Motorsports Park (IL) and her first race on a track over a mile long.
Due to rain, the ARCA Midwest Tour event was moved behind the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the schedule, but a nearly 11 p.m. CT start time didn’t derail the 19-year-old from a strong run and an eighth-place finish.
“It was a really fast track. Turn three and four was my favorite corner because I would lift off the gas for only a split second and then get back to the throttle,” said Decker. “It was great to be racing on the same day with the NASCAR Trucks. Travis Kvapil was a great coach and spent a lot of time helping me. I could feel a tire was going down during the race because my car was getting tight. My right rear tire went down and the engine lost power which put me back to eighth for the finish.”
This week Decker returns to her home track of State Park Speedway in Wisconsin, where she looks for her third win of the year. An early accident took her out of contention durin her last race at the track, and she hopes for redemption this Thursday night.
“I always look forward to getting back to my home track and hopefully our engine issues will be figured out by Thursday,” said Decker.
After a string of a few busy weekend, the Eagle River, Wisconsin driver finds herself with just one race this week and one race next week before things get hectic again. Decker plans for a low-key 4th of July weekend and to spend some quality time with her No. 04 team.
“I’m looking forward to hanging out with the team on the Eagle River Chain O Lakes this weekend,” said Decker, “But who knows, I just may find myself going to watch some racing somewhere too.”