AUDIO/FEATURE: Debut Derby; Paige Decker Making Her Truck Series Debut at Martinsville

Marshall Gabell Audio, Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

MARTINSVILLE, Va. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Paige Decker Racing photo –

Following multiple starts in the Super Late Models, including a win in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series two seasons ago, Eagle River, Wisc. native Paige Decker will make her NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut this weekend in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Decker, who turned 22-years-old earlier this month, will drive the No. 74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet with support from long-time sponsor  Sueburt Calf Ranches this weekend.

“It was just a random phone call that came,” Decker said about how the deal came together. “(Mike Harmon Racing) was interested in us running the truck for them. (The call) came around the time we were racing during Speedweeks in the Super Late Models. We started to work at it and it took a lot of work, dedication and just a lot of people behind the scenes.”

Martinsville will mark the first time that Decker will perform on a national platform, a thought that makes the female racer both excited and nervous as the event draws closer.

However, despite the emotions running high, Decker is hoping to gain respect from her competitors and utilize a huge learning curve throughout the weekend.

“I am nervous,” Decker expressed. “I am going to be driving against the best of the best now. I think I am just going to remain calm. It is going to be a huge learning experience for me. There is just going to be a lot of different things going on. I am hoping to just get comfortable and gain some respect from the other drivers.”

Not all aspects of this weekend will be diverse for Decker though.

She is a short track veteran, making the half-mile, Martinsville, Va. track the perfect place for her debut.

“I am comfortable on short tracks,” Decker explained. “I have never raced a truck, so I think this is going to be a whole different ball game. I am just taking in all the advice that the crew and people from NASCAR (have given me). I just wanna learn.”

But before she can tackle the race, Decker will be forced to qualify in on time – a realization that sets her mind on making the race before setting expectations.

“There is a ton of trucks signed up, so we have to make the race first,” Decker expressed about the goals. “We just wanna learn. Just take it lap after lap and hope to get better. And then just learn for the next (race).”

Aside from just her Truck Series debut this weekend, Decker is hoping to run some select races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for an unnamed team – a large opportunity for the Drive 4 Diversity competitor.

“That is why we are running the Truck Series race, to get approved for the XFINITY Series,” Decker said about possible starts in the XFINITY Series. “The (XFINITY) starts will not be with Mike Harmon Racing. (We cannot) release any names for the XFINITY Series right now (though).”

Decker will look to qualify for the Kroger 250 Saturday morning during Keystone Light Pole Qualifying (11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

 

Listen in to an extended cut of Race Chaser Online’s conversation with Paige Decker by clicking on the link below:

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