Natalie Decker added another win to her already impressive State Park Speedway (WI) resume on Thursday night. The 18-year-old racer from Eagle River, Wisconsin drove her No. 04 Super Late Model to Victory Lane during ‘The Happening.’
Dubbed one of the biggest races of the year at the track in Wausau, Wisconsin, and showcasing twin 50-lap feature, Decker took the checkers in the first 50-lapper of the night and brought home a fourth-place finish in the second.
“Winning the first 50-lap feature that night was so special to our team because the race was honoring Father Grubba,” said Decker. “And being in victory lane with him was such an honor.”
Decker starter on the pole of the first 50-lap feature and quickly jumped out to the early lead. She led over half of the race before she was challenged by MG Gajewski. Gajewski took the lead, but Decker continued to fight back. On a late race restart, Decker battled tough with Gajewski and on the white flag lap Gajewski lost control of his car, spinning in turn two and giving the win to Decker.
“The second caution of the race came out with only two laps to go. On the restart MG was on the inside and I was on his outside. I knew it would be tough to beat him with only two laps remaining, he is one of the hardest guys to beat at SPS. My car was tight off so getting back to the gas was a challenge on the outside,” said Decker. “When MG spun in turn two on the last lap, my spotter Tom Ress, told me over the head set that I won. It really wasn’t the way I wanted to win, but a win is a win.”
With the invert Decker started the second 50-lap feature from the seventh position. She worked her way towards the front, getting into the top five, and earning a fourth-place finish.
“I was one of the fastest cars out there and finished fourth, but I wanted more laps because my car was so good,” said Decker. “It was a great night of racing and really awesome to see all the racing icons of the past, present and future come together in honor of Father Grubba. It was a very special night and State Park Speedway put on a first class event.”
Decker hits the track again this Wednesday for the Dick Trickle Memorial race at Marshfield Motor Speedway (WI). Decker picked up a win at Marshfield just a few weeks ago and looks to continue her central Wisconsin winning streak.
“I am super excited to go back to Marshfield Motor Speedway for the Dick Trickle Memorial Race,” said Decker. “Tom Ress, my crew Chief, and I have been discussing this upcoming race and I told him he really had a great set up in the car for me at the last race there. I am just focusing on driving that track better and harder on Wednesday night.”