Natalie Decker Takes Home 16th Place Finish at Pocono

Natalie Decker Pocono

Natalie Decker took home a 16th place finish in her No. 54 N29 Technologies Toyota Tundra on Saturday afternoon in the Gander RV 150 at Pocono Speedway racing for DGR Crosley. The cautions came early and often in the first stage before things settled down. 

Here’s how it all went down for the No. 54 at Pocono! 

Just shortly after the drop of the green flag, the caution came out as the No. 52 of Stewart Frieson got loose and spun up the track and slammed in the No. 15 of Anthony Alfredo. As the field bunched up like an accordion, the No. 99 of Ben Rhodes wasn’t able to checkup quick enough and ran into the back left of Natalie Decker. However, after getting a bit sideways from the contact, Decker was able to collect her No. 54 Toyota Tundra and keep rolling without losing any positions. 

After the next restart on lap 6, the caution flew again as the No. 28 of Bryan Duzant got spun and slid backward into the outside wall. On the next restart, the No. 13 of Johnny Sauter and the No. 44 of Bayley Currey got into each other, however, the field stayed green with just 7 laps left in the stage. Decker was able to just narrowly miss the contact and moved up into 19th.

Natalie Decker finished the first stage in 19th place. She would come in to get some work on her left rear fender that was damaged in the first wreck of the day. She also got four tires, fuel, and the crew took the track bar down a round and a half. 

As the field went back to green to start stage two on lap 19, Decker was back in 17th. The No. 2 of Sheldon Creed took a hard hit into the outside wall and was forced to pit, this moved Decker up to 16th. With just four laps left in the stage, Decker made the pass of Spencer Boyd in the No. 20 to move up to 15th. She kept rolling as some of the leaders took pits as the stage neared the end. As the green-white-checkered flew, Decker was sitting pretty in 12th. 

Decker came in the pits for four tires, fuel and took the track bar down a half-round. As the field went back green for the final stage, Decker was still sitting solidly in 15th place. She jumped up to 13th after the first lap of the stage, then settled back into the 16th position.

With 13 laps to go, Natalie Decker ran her fastest lap of the race, and then followed it up on the following lap with her fastest lap again, with a lap speed of 161.325 mph. She was doing all she could to chase down the No. 22 of Austin Wayne Self for the 15th position. Decker wasn’t able to catch Self, mainly due to lapped traffic getting in her way. However, she was able to cut the gap after trailing by just over 3 seconds with seven laps to go, down to just 1.113-seconds, beating Self’s time by more than 0.5 seconds on the final lap. 

In the end, it was a solid 16th place finish for Decker, her third-best finish of the season. She will now take a couple of weeks off from the truck series as she readies for a trip to Michigan International Speedway on August 10th for the Corrigan Oil 200.

Written by Adrian Beecher

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