Natalie Decker will compete in five Xfinity Series races this season for RSS Racing, marking her first appearances in the series.
Decker announced Friday that she will drive the No. 23 Ford, which is run in partnership between RSS and Reaume Brothers Racing.
Her first race will be Feb. 20 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. Jason White was previously announced to drive the car for the Feb. 13 season opener on the Daytona oval.
For Decker’s races, the car will have sponsorship from Christian music label Red Street Records, which was formed in 2018 by Jay DeMarcus of country music group Rascal Flatts.
“This just means the world to me,” Decker told CCM Magazine in an interview. “… This has been a secret for a while now and I’m so excited that Red Street Records is gonna be a part of these five races that I’m doing in Xfinity – which is so crazy to say, that I’m moving up a level and we’re gonna be in the Xfinity Series.”
In the same interview, DeMarcus noted that the partnership came about with help from a business partner who is a mutual friend of his and Decker’s. The connection led to their first meeting on Zoom.
“Her personality (and) her spirit just jumped off the screen,” DeMarcus said. “She’s so driven and so determined and I feel like (she) is a wonderful role model, not just for young ladies wanting to get in the sport but for people everywhere.
“Her tenacity is really, really palpable when you’re around her. It was just a no-brainer for me. I love being a part of helping people achieve their dreams and their goals, and it just made perfect sense for us.”
Decker made 13 Camping World Truck Series starts for Niece Motorsports in a 2020 season marred by health issues.
In June, she missed the Truck race at Pocono Raceway after being hospitalized for bile duct complications related to her December 2019 gallbladder removal.
In September, Decker was not medically cleared to compete in the Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Oct. 7, she explained in a video that she didn’t feel well before that race and was later diagnosed with a high heart rate and high blood pressure at the track’s infield care center.
Then in November, Decker tested positive for the coronavirus, which forced her to miss a Trans-Am sports car doubleheader at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.