KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 17, 2017) — It’s been one hurdle after another for 20-year-old rookie Natalie Decker in her first season on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national tour. From her series short-track and superspeedway debuts, to her first time on a road course, the Eagle River, Wisconsin driver is getting the experience she came for. Her next stop — Kansas Speedway for the season finale.
“We’ve run a bit of everything the (ARCA) series offers – short tracks, an intermediate track, Pocono and of course the road course race at Road America,” said Decker. “I’m still learning a lot. I feel we’ve made huge gains from the beginning of the season…as I continue to log laps and gain valuable experience the more I’m adapting to feel of the ARCA car.”
Decker is off to an admirable start on her maiden-season ARCA voyage, finishing 11th in her short-track debut at Toledo in mid-May. She went one better at Pocono in late July with a solid 10th-place finish. In her road course debut at Road America in August she finished a career-best 7th.
As one might expect, there’s advice coming in from all angles; however, the information she’s getting from a 10-time ARCA Racing Series national champion has her ears especially perked.
“Frank Kimmel has been so helpful…answering all my questions. Everything and anything from marketing to how to get around Kansas, and everywhere else. We first started talking with Frank at the PRI show. He’s been helping me out ever since.
“For Kansas, he told me to get your marks down, and hit ’em every lap. He said that we could maybe go in a little deeper in qualifying but don’t go too far past your marks.”
Decker also has the support of her experienced Venturini Motorsports team she drives for including veteran crew chief Dave Leiner.
“I really like the 25 team…really enjoy working with them. I can already tell it’s a good fit. I’ve spent a lot of time in the shop. Dave (Leiner/crew chief) is very good and patient with new drivers…I really like working with him. He’s good at coaching me.”
Decker also says racing on ARCA’s national tour brings on a combination of nerves and excitement.
“I get nervous, but really excited. It’s a combination of nerves and excitement all together. As soon as you come to the green flag, all the nerves go away…but sitting in the car, lined up and waiting to go…that’s when the nerves come in.
“If you would’ve told me last year at this time I’d be racing on tracks like Pocono and Kansas in the ARCA Series I would’ve said you’re crazy,” Decker added. “It’s been an amazing year so far. As a driver the only thing I want do is race – and coming into ARCA this year with Venturini Motorsports has been a dream come true. Thanks to a lot of people who believe in me and the support of N29 Capital Partners, I’m given the opportunity to further my career and continue to live out my dreams.”
Decker, like so many of her competitors, has big goals.
“My goal is Cup, and the next step from super late model racing is ARCA.”
In 65 consecutive seasons, no female driver has ever won an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national tour event.
Natalie Decker unveils multiple caused-based social message at Kansas
Combining multiple caused-based messages on her Kansas car, Decker will highlight several national public awareness initiatives which include Yo Cool Frozen Yogurt, Breast Cancer Awareness and distracted driving.
Yo Cool Frozen Yogurt comes aboard as part of an alliance with Decker’s primary sponsor, N29 Capital Partners. Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Yo Cool Frozen Yogurt is a non-profit food service retail location created specifically with the goal to give 100% of profits back to the community and promote positive change for local residents.
The creation of local businessman and entrepreneur, Alex Hoffman, the single retail location was developed after Hoffman’s 21-year-old son died of a drug overdose in 2013. Serving as a way to memorialize his son and bring necessary awareness and support to an ever increasing epidemic, Hoffman has rededicated his professional life to give back to the community.
“I’m really fortunate and proud of the work I do off the track to help support great some great causes,” said Decker. “My Kansas car will represent groups I care about and spend time supporting when I’m not racing. I’m really lucky to have such great support behind me – N29 Capital Partners and Musselman’s Apple Sauce have really stepped up this year allowing me to showcase such great causes such as the work Yo Cool Frozen Yogurt and People Against Distracted Driving (PADD) are doing to help create conversation and national awareness to important social issues plaguing young people in our country.”
Decker TV appearance on Kansas City Live Morning Show
Decker will make a local Kansas City television appearance on Kansas City Live morning program Thursday, Oct. 19. Kansas City Live, which airs on the local NBC affiliate channel 41 KSHB, is an hour long show that spotlights the people, places, trends and local attractions in the Kansas City area. Decker will join hosts Michelle Davidson and Joel Nichols for a segment highlighting ARCA’s return to Kansas Speedway.
Decker to make Kansas City Menards store appearance
Decker will join fellow VMS rookie teammates Spencer Davis and Cole Rouse on and off the track at Kansas. Prior to Friday’s Kansas 150, the trio will join Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver Paul Menard for a special fan autograph meet and greet appearance Thursday, Oct. 19 (6:30 – 7:30 p.m.) at the area Menards store located at 8901 N. Greenhill Road, Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas ARCA 150 Kicks Off Triple-Header Weekend
The Kansas 150 also serves as the show-opener for big triple-header weekend of racing to include the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday and the Monster Energy Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday.
The Kansas 150 marks the 17th consecutive ARCA race at Kansas since the series debuted on the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 2001. Practice for the Kansas 150 is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 20, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 2:30 p.m. The 17th Kansas ARCA 150 is scheduled to get the green flag at 7:47 p.m. Friday night, with live coverage on FS2. ARCAracing.com will also feature Live Timing and Scoring and Live Chat of all on-track activities.