Natalie Decker adds another Top 20 to her 2019 NASCAR Truck Rookie season
Wisconsin lady Natalie Decker ended the Miami season finale with a positive result, in a specially meaningful round for the partnership with Arthritis Foundation.
Natalie Decker entered the Homestead Miami Speedway for the first time in her young career to tackle the final act of her NASCAR Gander Truck Series rookie season.
"The DGR Crosley team invited me to Homestead-Miami Speedway last year to watch the truck race with them. Who would have thought a full year later I'd have the opportunity to compete at this track!" - said an excited Decker before the race event.
The Ford EcoBoost 200 event was also a special one for the Wisconsin native driver due to the important partnership with The Arthritis Foundation.
Natalie Decker had in fact shared with fans her emotional life story during the past weeks, explaining that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis had influenced her health in the first years of her life. But thanks to the support of her family and to her big life goals, she was able to convert these difficulties in one major push to pursue her dreams.
Decker invited her followers to donate to the Arthritis Foundation, an organization helping the many kids affected by this disease: donors would have the honor to see their names on the #54 Toyota Tundra truck hood, specially wrapped in a green and white livery for the Miami final championship round.
Heavy rainfall washed over the Homestead-Miami Speedway and forced the drivers to sit out the last qualifying session of the year. Natalie Decker therefore took the start from the 20th grid position for the final race based on championship standings.
The rookie driver behind the wheel of her #54 Toyota managed a clean run in the middle of the pack for all the 134 laps of the night race and ended twentieth, taking home another important Top-20 result in this 2019 campaign, with a thirteenth place conquered in Las Vegas big mile track as best seasonal result at the wheel of the DGR Crosley truck.
Except the Las Vegas result, Decker also earned a notable P14 at the Chicagoland Speedway round earlier in June and two 16th place finishes at Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway respectively.
Two more P17 finishes, obtained at Dover in the sixth seasonal round and at the Iowa Speedway race, completed her several 2019 Top-20 results.
"Ended at a P20 finish with a solid run and good lap times. This was a roller coaster year but came away with a ton of learning and seat time" - wrote Decker after the race.
The other two ladies drivers on track in this NASCAR Gander Truck series season finale, the experienced Jenifer Jo-Cobb and Angela Ruch, finished their campaigns in P28 and P29.
Matt Crafton ended the Homestead race in second and was crowned NASCAR Truck series champion for the third time in his career despite not winning a single round this season. He prevailed over Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt and Stewart Friesen.
The #88 truck driver led the race for nine laps, before having to surrender the leadership to Austin Hill, who was then protagonist of a dominant performance that allowed him to take home the Ford Ecoboost 200 win.
The first green flag of the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series will be waved at Daytona International Speedway for the NewEra Energy 250 event on February 14th.
In Natalie's words:
This was a roller coaster year but came away with a ton of learning and seat time.
Ph credits: DGR Crosley Racing