It was certainly an eventful year for female drivers in the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series season. Landmark record, a top five finish, and a debut in a senior NASCAR division – it definitely had it all.
First up, Natalie Decker, with her fifth-placed track position at the NextEra Energy 250 in Daytona, was an incredible achievement. The 23-year-old, having started off racing in the ARCA Menards Series, made her way up into the trucks division with Niece Motorsports.
Having qualified in 30th, no one really expected Decker to make a significant impact in the race. However, her solid drive and racecraft ensured she passed her fellow racers time and again, to finish fifth.
The performance at Daytona was undoubtedly special and earned her a lot of praise across social media. Decker also ran 13 more races after that wonderful display and ranked 33rd overall in the Truck Series drivers’ standings.
After the race, she stated, “It just feels so good, we had such a good team effort and plan and we all stuck to it. And that’s what got me that good finish. I’m just thankful I got to be here with Niece Motorsports and I’m in a Chevy now!”
Elsewhere, veteran female driver Jennifer Jo Cobb also created a bit of history. In a Truck Series career that has spanned nearly 12 years now, the 47-year-old surpassed 200 races with her own team in the current year.
19-year-old Hailie Deegan featured for the very first time in the Truck Series, finishing 16th in the race at the Kansas Speedway. Having grown up racing on dirt tracks, she impressed on her debut stint with DGR-Crosley. She competed with them in the ARCA Menards Series as well.
Deegan’s emergence in the Truck Series came about having become the first female race winner in NASCAR’s regional series. She will now also pilot a Ford F-150 as part of her full-time drive in the Truck Series for the 2021 season as well.
Overall then, it was a season to cherish for these drivers. And based on the quality of performances seen by these female racers, one will hope that more women drivers emerge from the ranks to take part in the higher divisions of NASCAR.