By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
CONCORD, N.C. – After a rough end to her race at Kansas Speedway, Natalie Decker aims to bounce back in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Decker’s first foray into the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series has been rocky. Her best finish in the No. 54 N29 Technologies Toyota Tundra, 13th, came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway prior to her test for the W Series. The 21-year-old has competed in five Truck races with DGR – Crosley to date.
Between both the Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series, Decker has eight starts on 1.5-mile tracks. Her best finish at a 1.5-mile track, sixth, came in last year’s ARCA season finale at Kansas.
“I’m really excited to race at Charlotte on Friday,” Decker explained. “There seems to be a lot of excitement around this weekend because it’s a home race for everyone. We tested there a few months ago, and I’ve been working on the simulator to help prepare.”
To date, Decker’s best qualifying effort came at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season when she qualified 11th. On a 1.5-mile track her best start, 12th, came at Las Vegas.
“My goal for the race is to get a good qualifying lap in, finish all the laps in the race and learn as much as possible,” Decker admitted. “My DGR-Crosley team and I are hoping to get our best finish of the season this weekend in Charlotte.”
In ARCA’s return to Charlotte last year, Decker started and finished 15th, after an early on-track incident. She competed despite suffering from a hernia that later sidelined her at Pocono Raceway.
Charlotte is just the sixth Truck Series start in Decker’s career. The Friday night race will be the first trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Truck Series for her teammates, Anthony Alfredo and Tyler Ankrum.