Deegan’s Truck Debut, Decker’s Daytona Heroics: Best Moments Involving Female NASCAR Drivers from 2020 Season

December 5, 2020 6:30 pm

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.

DOVER, DE – MAY 03: Natalie Decker, driver of the #54 N29 Technologies LLC Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Natalie Decker earned best-ever NASCAR Truck finish for a female driver

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.

Hailie Deegan made her Truck Series debut with DGR-Crosley in 2020

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.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – OCTOBER 17: Hailie Deegan, driver of the #17 FORD Ford, drives during the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Clean Harbors 200at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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.

Bhargav Gopal

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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