Natalie Decker, 21, will make her NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, competing in the Zombie Auto 150 for DGR-Crosley. A native of Eagle River, Wisconsin, Decker recently returned from Spain where she was one of 28 finalists competing for 18 spots in the new all-female W Series.
While she failed to make the final cut, Decker said the experience was unforgettable.
“It was amazing and so wonderful,” Decker said. “I’m so happy I did it. I have a lot to learn in road racing; I had never done that before.
“It was really cool to get that experience and I learned a lot. Maybe one day I can race an F3 car, but I really don’t want to do that now. I really want to focus on (NASCAR). I really wanted to do the W Series just because of what they were doing for women and being a part of that.”
Decker has made three starts for the DGR-Crosley team this year in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Her best finish was 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bristol’s fast, high-banked, 0.533-mile layout left a quick impression.
“When I first pulled in, I was getting dizzy just trying to look at everything,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine what it would be like when I got out on the track.
“It was totally different. I come from short-track racing, but this is a whole new level of short-track racing. I’ve raced at Slinger Speedway (in Wisconsin) and that’s a really banked track but this is just totally different.”