Natalie Decker: Getting comfortable at Dover

A day after her two practice sessions at Dover International Speedway, Natalie Decker took to the track for qualifying, notching the 20th starting position.

She ran a 23.117-second lap of qualifying, clocking in 0.981 seconds faster than her best time in Thursday’s practice sessions. Both practice sessions on Thursday clocked her 22nd fastest on the track.

The big thing for Decker this weekend is getting valuable seat time at Dover, as it is her first visit to the track. However, that hasn’t stripped her of her confidence heading into Friday evenings race. Her first chance at that experience came in her two practice sessions on Thursday.

“Practice went really well, it’s my first time here. This tracks really crazy and super hard. The beginning was a little tough. The truck was really free, but the final practice went really well.” Said Decker, “Our last run, I was really happy with, it’s going to be really good in the race. “

To add more difficulty to the learning curve, it also marks her first time on a mile long track while being in the truck series and only the second time racing on a mile long track in her young NASCAR career.

The other time came last year when she was in the ARCA race at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds racetrack in September. She started 13th in that race and finished in 12th.

The lack of track time heightens her DGR-Crosley crew being adamant about getting her as much experience as she can now, so that information can be logged for her future.

“It’s one of the more difficult racetracks we go to. Because it’s so fast for its size, and you notice how the cars land getting into the corners.” says Decker’s Crew Cheif Frank Kerr, “It’s literally like when an elevator falls, that’s what it’s like getting into the corners.  I think she learned a lot and I think the truck is actually really good.  That’s what we are here for, is for her to learn and get time.”