NewsLocal News


Wisconsin native Natalie Decker trying to move through the racing ranks

Posted at 10:34 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 10:06:42-04

Natalie Decker grew up in Eagle River with a dad who won the World's Snowmobile Derby championship. Now she's carving her own path, in the world of NASCAR and stock cars.

"My dad owned the race track," Decker says. "You know, him and his brothers are known for snowmobile racing. He won the World Championship. And he has a daughter, that's me. And I'm here, and he's like, 'we're going to have her race snowmobiles.' It comes race day. And we all line up, for the green flag. And I go about ten feet. And my dad comes running over. 'What's wrong? Did the sled quit?' And I said, 'I quit. I'm done!'"

From early on, growing up in God's country, she wanted the NASCAR dream.

"I felt so lucky that I got to grow up in Eagle River, Wisconsin," Decker says. "You could race Thursday night in State Park Speedway at Wausau. And then Friday night at Golden Sands in Plover. And then you could go to Marshfield and race Saturday night. And it's so crazy because I come from short track racing, and my favorite tracks are the big superspeedways."

Then came the tough part.

"It's hard being the race car driver. And what's even harder is the business side of it. Going out and finding partners and sponsorship," Decker says.

And in this era, Decker has to deal with the social media backlash.

"People you've never met before, are going to have, they're going to have assumptions about you," Decker says. "And they're going to see you a certain way, and you're going to just have to deal with that."

But at 24, she remains positive about her future.

"My ultimate goal has been to go race in the Cup series," Decker says.

Decker made history back in 2018 as Venturini Motorsports started three female drivers in the same ARCA race for the first time in the modern era of the sport.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip