By Jay Hardin Track Enterprises Staff-Springfield, IL-(August 9, 2018)-Twenty-year old Natalie Decker of Wisconsin is in her first full season in the ARCA Racing Series and as a full-time driver has her sights set on competing in the 56th Allen Crowe 100 on the Illinois State Fair dirt. Should she be able to make the starting field she will become the tenth female driver to compete in the Springfield Mile stock car event, held annually on the last day of the Illinois State Fair.
Decker began racing karts at age 9 and moved eventually to four cylinder and super stocks at Marshfield Motor Speedway. She joined the ARCA Midwest Tour in 2013 and won Rookie of the Year. The following year she won 9 stock car features and joined the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program in 2015. She ran 7 ARCA events in 2017 winning the pole at Daytona and finishing fifth. The daughter of Chuck Decker, owner of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Wisconsin, will be looking for her first ever start in a full bodied stock car on dirt.
Shawna Robinson became the first female driver to make the Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield in 2000, starting 9th and finishing 12th as fellow female driver Karla Lampe finished 19th. Christi Passmore became the third woman participant in 2004 finishing 11th completing all 107 miles run. Gabi DiCarlo finished 18th and Amber Koch finished 31st in 2007, Alli Owens 30th in 2010, Taylor Ferns 9th and Milka Duno 21st in 2013, Ching 18th in 2015 and again in 2016.
The best finishing position for a female driver in the Allen Crowe 100 goes to Taylor Ferns who was just 17 years old when she posted that ninth place finish in 2013 driving for Venturini Motorsports. Ferns also has the best starting position of any female driver in ARCA at the Illinois State Fair, starting fifth in 2013.
ARCA practice begins at 9:00, ARCA qualifying at 11:00, Sportsman feature at 12:00 noon, an ARCA autograph session at 12:15, and the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 will take the green at 1:35.