Niece Motorsports announced Thursday that Natalie Decker would
keep their fabricators employed to run a partial schedule for the NASCAR Truck Series team in 2020.
Decker moves to Niece after running 19 races for DGR-Crosley in 2019. Her first season in the NASCAR Truck Series was rather forgettable. In 19 races she recorded zero Top-10’s, an average finish of 22.2, she finished on the lead lap just once and recorded an astonishing 9 DNFs. Keep in mind her teammate Tyler Ankrum make The Playoffs and captured the win at Kentucky.
Niece Motorsports was thrust into NASCAR Truck Series stardom thanks to Ross Chastain. The team’s meteoric rise on the back of Chastain’s
four three wins saw them racing for a championship at Homestead.
Ross Chastain is moving to the Xfinity Series full-time with Kaulig Racing in 2020 Niece Motorsports was left with an empty seat. The team has signed Ty Majeski to run full-time for the team in 2020. The other truck will see a rotating cast of drivers much as it did in 2019 with Angela Ruch and others. In 2020, Ross Chastain, Carson Hocevar, and Natalie Decker will share the second seat.
NASCAR’s Funding Model Is Broken
By all accounts Natalie Decker shouldn’t be in NASCAR, she shouldn’t be in a national touring series, she should be back in Wisconsin running super late model races in the ARCA Midwest Series.
Decker, however, brings sponsorship and that’s something Niece Motorsports needs. It’s clear Decker didn’t get signed for her talent, she got signed for the check No. 29 her sponsor is writing for her to be in the truck.
Niece Motorsports made a business decision here. To stay as a 2-truck team the team needed to take on a pay driver. That’s where Natalie Decker enters into the fold. She’s not a driver that is going to win a race or even finish in the Top-10. However, she is a driver that brings a decent check and that’s what a team like Nieve Motorsports needs to keep the doors open and run one super-competitive team.
NASCAR’s funding model is inherently broken and has been for a while. Natalie Decker isn’t the first driver to buy a seat and certainly won’t be the last. Sponsorship isn’t as plentiful as it once was meaning drivers with sponsors (and a check) are landing seats over drivers that are inherently more talented. We see it in all three series, we see it in IndyCar and F1. It happens in every series and there’s really no fix for it other than you know, letting Tobacco companies back into sports. DO IT, COWARDS.
Natalie Decker shouldn’t be in NASCAR, she’ll wreck a lot of trucks and keep the fab shop busy. Unfortunately, she brings a check and money keeps teams going. As much as Niece would like to sign another more talented driver Natalie brings the money that allows them to run a competitive truck and a second team.
The business model is broken. But hey, at least there’s a new Cup car coming with a 5-speed.
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