Natalie Decker ‘Thankful’ for Chance But Has an Unfortunate End to NASCAR Xfinity Series Debut

Published 02/21/2021, 12:50 PM EST
HAMPTON, VA – OCTOBER 19: Natalie Decker participates in media training during the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine at Hampton University on October 19, 2015 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)


Natalie Decker did not have an enjoyable debut in the 2021 Xfinity Series after being involved in a wreck on Lap 3. Driving in the Daytona Road Course race after starting 21st, there was hope for a top-half finish at the very least.

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With a fresh opportunity presented to her, courtesy of Reaume Brothers Racing and RSS Racing, Decker would have been keen to make the most of it. But the extensive damage to her Chevrolet, a fluid leak issue, brought an early end to her race.

The 23-year-old expressed her heartfelt feelings through a post on Instagram. In an image as part of it, one can clearly see that the rear end bumper has received significant damage from the wreck.

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Natalie Decker grateful for the opportunity

Decker’s post read, “Tonight was heartbreaking, we got ran over going into the chicane which sent us over the turtle curbs which then put a big hole in our transmission.”

Replays show that Decker spun off the track after a bunch of drivers tried their best to negotiate at one of the chicanes on the 3.61 miles road course.

Though most cars fighting in the bottom half got through, the No.23 came off worse, which ultimately ended in a DNF for her.

She continued, “I’m so thankful I had this opportunity I’m just hurt it ended this way. Thank you @rss383993 @rbr_teams @jasoncrabbmusic @jaydemarcus @redstreetrecordsofficial and Big Foot Philly Cheesesteak!!”

She will race in 4 more Xfinity Series races in the 2021 campaign

The silver lining for the 23-year-old is that she will soon get a chance to put this incident behind her. After Saturday’s race, Natalie will next get down to racing in Talladega on April 24.

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 15: Natalie Decker, driver of the #54 N29 Technologies LLC Toyota, during qualifying for NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series NextEra 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Natalie had previously made 13 starts in the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series campaign, with the best finish of 5th at Daytona. As part of a structured deal, she would race in 5 Xfinity Series races with the hope of adding on to it.

Hence, the NASCAR season has certainly not gotten off to the right start for Decker. But with her grit and passion for racing, expect her to bounce back in a determined fashion over the next few races.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

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.

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