MADISON, Wis. (May 23, 2018) — Finally, Wisconsin’s own Natalie Decker will be racing at a track she’s already been to when the Herr’s Potato Chips ARCA 200 comes to life at Madison Int’l Speedway Friday night, June 15. She’s not only raced at Madison before, she’s won on the banked half-mile oval.
“I’ve raced there a few times in my super late,” said Decker. “I’ve only had bad luck there except one time…I made a last lap pass for the lead in the Midwest Truck Series. It was the first race I won.”
While Decker’s hometown of Eagle River, Wisconsin is still 240 miles away from Madison Int’l, she’ll no doubt be the home state favorite when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns for its 11th appearance on famous short track in the heartland of Wisconsin.
Decker got off to a great start in 2018, winning the General Tire Pole at Daytona and finishing a career-best fifth in the race. However, she was involved in wrecks at Salem and Talladega that set her back in points. She also rebounded nicely at Toledo recently with a solid seventh-place finish.
“We needed that Toledo run. We’re back on track and I feel like Madison is going to play into our hands. I’m with a great Venturini Motorsports team and I have quite a few laps around that track, certainly more than most on the ARCA schedule. But the super lates handle a lot different than the heavier ARCA cars, so in that respect I’ll have some things to figure out. I also think that Madison is one of the tougher short tracks compared to a lot of them. The straights are long and the banked corners are really tight.”
Despite the challenge, Deckers knows she’ll have the home state crowd in her corner.
“I’m so excited to race in the ARCA Series in my home state, especially at Madison. It’s going to be amazing. I know I’ll have a lot of great support from my home state fans coming out. I’ll have a lot of my family there too. It’s going to be an exciting night for sure.”
No female driver has ever won an ARCA Racing Series race after 66 consecutive years. Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker are the highest runners in ARCA, each with second-place finishes.
Discounted tickets for the Friday, June 15 Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Madison Int’l Speedway are still on sale at 27 Menards stores across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
The offer for discounted tickets will remain in place up through June 14. Tickets purchased at participating Menards stores are available for just $20, which is $10 off the raceday gate price of $30. Kids 6 – 11 are just $10 at the track gate. Kids 5 and under are free. For a complete listing of participating Menards stores selling discounted tickets, CLICK HERE.
ARCA’s 10th trip to Madison Int’l Speedway
The ARCA Racing Series stretches out over five decades at Madison Int’l Speedway, having first raced there in July of 1970 – two-time ARCA champion Ramo Stott won the inaugural race. Tom Bowsher won the ARCA race at Madison in May of 1971, and Bruce Gould is in the history books as the 1973 ARCA winner. However, nearly 40 years would go by before the ARCA Racing Series would return to Madison in 2011.
Modern-day ARCA winners at Madison make ARCA/NASCAR champs
More recent ARCA winners at Madison include Austin Theriault (2017), Josh Williams (2016), Justin Boston (2014), Kyle Benjamin (2013), Chris Buescher (2012) and Alex Bowman (2011). Buescher, the 2012 ARCA Racing Series national champion, earned the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2015. Buescher is now a full-time driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Bowman now drives the 88 car for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the NASCAR Cup Series. Theriault was the 2017 ARCA Racing Series national champion.
Weekend schedule/On-track autograph session/Media coverage
Practice for the ARCA Racing Series at Madison is Friday, June 15 from 1:15 – 3 p.m., with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 5. An on-track autograph session goes from 6:30 – 7:30, followed by pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions. The 200-lap Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Madison begins at 8 p.m. Friday night. The race airs live on MAVTV. There will also be live timing and scoring and live chat at ARCAracing.com. All times are local, Central.