Natalie Decker brought home a 12th-place finish in penultimate race of the 2016 season at State Park Speedway last Thursday night.
Despite grabbing a few wins earlier in the year, the midseason transition from racing the No. 04 car to racing the No. 36 the past few weeks has been a challenging task.
“We are still trying to find the issue with the 36 car on why the handling changes abruptly after it runs and handles pretty good for about 10 laps,” Decker said. “It feels like something is wrong with the rear end so this week we will be doing some testing, hopefully Brian Back will find the answer. Brian has been great to work with and is really smart with the car along with his racing experience so I have faith we will get it fixed for our last race at State Park this Thursday.”
The Eagle River, Wisconsin driver led the State Park Speedway point standings for the first half of the year, but the team’s recent struggles have seen her drop to fifth in points with one race remaining. While it is disappointing not to challenge for a championship this year, Decker says she thinks the ups and downs of 2016 will make her a stronger driver.
“I am really glad I was able to finish out the season at SPS and am thankful for Ben Martinson offering his number 36 car for us to finish out the season,” said Decker. “I am definitely not a quitter and going from the points leader in the No. 04 car to having struggles with the number 36 car, I believe I am only becoming a better driver because of the change. It may not show in points but in the long run it was a good switch.”
Decker has one final race at State Park Speedway this year, slated for next Thursday, September 1. She is working on putting a few other things together in order to get behind the wheel a few more times before 2016 comes to a close.
“We have had a lot of support from other teams offering their car to run in some of the remaining ARCA Midwest Tour races. We will keep the fans updated as we firm up the rest of the season’s schedule,” Decker stated.
Natalie Decker set fast time Saturday night at State Park Speedway for the Newsline Nine Detjens Memorial 125. The Eagle River, WI driver felt good about her car and her chances to win her first Detjens Memorial heading into the 125-lap feature.
However, just a few laps in, the No. 04 came to a stop on the front stretch and had to be pushed into the pits. A distributor issues ended Decker’s night early.
The Decker Racing team believes they have the problem fixed and they are looking to get back on track Tuesday night with the ARCA Midwest Tour. Billed as one of the biggest races of the year, the Dixieland 250 will bring out some of the top drivers in the Midwest and will also be the longest race the ninteen-year-old driver will compete in this year.
Natalie Decker continued her run of strong finishes Friday night at Golden Sands Speedway. The Eagle River, Wisconsin driver earned her third straight top-three finish at the Plover, Wisconsin track.
“We had the fastest car in practice before the race, but the changes we made for the feature didn’t help us get that win,” said Decker. “We definitely weren’t as fast as 14, who won, and 7-11 who took second.”
Natalie Decker bounced around the Midwest last weekend, racing at State Park Speedway (WI) on Thursday and then Grundy County Speedway (IL) with the ARCA Midwest Tour on Friday. The Eagle River, Wisconsin racer exited the weekend with a pair of strong run against tough competition.