Natalie Decker has gotten a lot of publicity lately — and it’s all well deserved.
The 20-year-old became only the fifth woman in ARCA history to qualify on the pole and finished fifth at Daytona. Even a medical scare couldn’t keep her down (she needed oxygen and fluids after the race when her car’s cooling system wasn’t hooked into her helmet, so she overheated in her hot car.)
But when she’s off the track, she’s, well, just 20. So she took to Twitter to show her playful side with a Valentine’s Day post that has some her fans’ heart melting.
When Decker isn’t being playful, she’s focusing on her career.
Decker joined NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program in 2015, and has been racing stock cars since she was 12. It is her first full time season in ARCA, but she ran seven races for Venturini Motorsports in the series last year. Until Daytona, her best start was eighth at Elko Speedway and if she can translate qualifying success to the race, she could also improve on her career-best seventh place finish at Road America.
Those seven races gave Decker the experience needed to kick off a season she hopes will end with some hardware. A goal she made clear when she said, “I learned a lot last year in those seven races in preparation to run for rookie of the year and so far it’s a great start.”
Forget great start. She’s on her way to a great career.