Jerry Wood Holds Off 15 year Old Natalie Decker To Take Win

by Gregg Paul
There is an old saying that says “Age before beauty.” Whereas that might normally be construed as a sign of respect, in the racing world these days it may be a sign of experience over youth. Yet in this case you still had the age and experience of Jerry Wood narrowly holding off the youthful Natalie Decker to win the Scag Power Equipment Midwest Truck Tour event at the Madison International Speedway.

“This is the only time I have ever hugged another driver in Victory Lane,” said Wood as he hugged Decker as pictures were being taken.

While it may be expected that a veteran like Wood would run up front and score victories, Decker served notice that she would be a contender not only as a rookie of the year candidate, but one who will certainly contend for wins as well.

Dann Barber would quickly take the lead as the green flag flew with Jerry Wood on his bumper. The race would be slowed a lap later when the truck of Scott Kingswan spun in turn four.

The second green flag had the first result as the first, as Barber would jump out ahead of Wood. Wood would pull back alongside barber on lap 4 as Chad Knaus moved in to the third spot and was closing in on the leaders.

John Wood, brother of Jerry, ran side by side with Decker for a few laps before pulling ahead into the fourth spot. Decker than moved to the high side and began her march towards the front. She was able to get around both John Wood and Knaus just as the race hit the crossed flags of the halfway mark.

Meanwhile back up front, Jerry Wood finally cleared Barber for the lead and began to pull away. Barber seemed to fade a bit, allowing Decker to close in. Decker was on Barber’s rear bumper when the yellow would fly again on lap 16. Jason Schuler spun his truck off of turn 2 to bring out the caution. Over in turn four, Decker would get into the back of Barber, spinning him out in the process. Midwest Truck Tour officials decided that the yellow came out before the Decker/Barber incident so both drivers were given their spots back.

The cone would come out for the restart, and both Barber and Decker would take advantage of it. Another restart, and another great jump for Barber, as he launched to the lead again. Jerry Wood would fight back on the inside and pulled even on lap 17. Barber would get loose off of turn two, allowing Wood to clear for the lead. Decker would also take advantage jumping to the inside of Barber for the second spot.

As Decker cleared Barber, Wood stretched out his lead a few truck lengths. In the closing laps Wood would pull away a bit farther and would wind up cruising to a five truck length victory.

Feature Finish
# Driver Name Hometown
1 – 73 – Jerry Wood – Sun Prairie, WI
2 – 04 – Natalie Decker – Eagle River, WI
3 – 67 – Chad Knaus – Sun Prairie, WI
4 – 72 – John Wood – Sun Prairie, WI
5 – 3 – Dann Barber – Sun Prairie, WI
6 – 88 – Jacob VanWazer – Lombard, IL
7 – 30 – Joshua James – Saukville, WI
8 – 83 – Andy Jirik – Lonsdale, MN
9 – 36 – Scott Kingswan – Madison, WI
10 – 2 – Jason Schuler – Cambridge, WI

The next event for the Scag Power Equipment Midwest Truck Tour is Friday, May 17th at Veterans Raceway Park in Tomah, WI

Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).

To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on toarcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at tim@arcamidwesttour.comor Steve Einhaus at steve@arcamidwesttour.com.

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.

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