Written by Adrian Beecher
Less than 12 hours after her 13th place finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series race in Las Vegas, Natalie Decker was back in action 2,395.8 miles away, at Sebring International Raceway.
She was on site there for a mandatory 9:15 am drivers meeting ahead of race one of five for her in the Trans Am Road America Series for Ave Motorsports. After her meeting she took part in her lone 20-minute practice session from 11:25 am until 11:45 am.
During the practice session, Decker was the 19th fastest of the 31 cars in the practice session. She ran her fastest lap in her No. 4 N29 Capital Partners Chevrolet Corvette on her 7th lap, posting a 2:13.828 time on the 3.74-mile course. This mark was 12.568-seconds off the fastest time posted, which came from fellow Wisconsin native, Lawrence Loshak in his No. 3 Chevrolet Camero.
This was her only chance to get on the course, and it was her first time at the track. After a five hour and 35-minute break from being on the track, it was time for Decker to qualify.
Her qualifying session was a 15-minute window where her best lap time set her position in the field. On lap 6 of her qualifying run, Decker posted her best time on the course with a 2:07.999 lap. This slotted her into the 14th starting position.
It was an overall improvement from practice, cutting 5.829-seconds off her lap time; a
She will surely find rest ahead of her 1 hour and 15-minute race in the weekend feature, which will run from 3:25 pm to 4:40 pm. There’s no doubt, that Decker is excited to get back on the track and get her first
“I’m really excited! I love the Trans Am Series and the team I am with, Ave Motorsports, their awesome!” says Decker, “He’s (Tony Ave) been best friends with my dad. They grew up racing together, so I know them really well. It’s really fun to go out there and road race. It teaches you so much and really lays over into oval racing.”
(Image Courtesy Trans Am Series – Chris Clark – www.CClarkPhoto.com)