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Springrates helps Natalie Decker become a team owner at Oktoberfest

Springrates helps Natalie Decker become a team owner at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in West Salem Wisconsin at La Crosse Speedway will mark it's 52nd running on October 7-10, 2021 where you will see a new race team registered- Natalie Decker Racing. Decker has always wanted to own a race team and she's making it happen at The Fest!

Natalie Decker explains, "I'm so excited to be going to Oktoberfest as a team owner. This is a dream come true for me. All of us have been working so hard for this opportunity. Derek (Lemke) works so hard day in and day out to help me make my racing dreams come true, he has not been able to race as much because of that. I'm so happy he gets to race the whole week of Oktoberfest, I know he is going to have the best time and that makes me excited to have him as our driver. Travis Braden and Jess Ballard are the hardest working people I know in racing, so to have them on the team this weekend is a must. We have a lot of new sponsors on board for this weekend. Springrates, N29 Capital Partners, Eagle Disposal, Marthaler Automotive, and Spoonie Shop. It wouldn't be possible with out them!

It will feel like home going to this race and that's a good feeling."


The pilot of the no. 71 Fury super late car, Derek Lemke, native of Delano, MN, grew up racing Legend cars with his home track being Elko Speedway. His dad and grandfather were a major role in his race team. At Oktoberfest this year, it will be a re-union, as Derek's dad, Jon Lemke, will be back on the radio spotting.

Derek Lemke says, "I'm super excited to be back in a car and even more excited to be racing at Oktoberfest again. I grew up looking forward to the fest every year so it's exciting to be going back. Natalie has been a huge part in getting me back behind the wheel and I can't thank her enough! Travis and Jess have been close friends of ours, and to get a chance to work with them will be fun, they have worked with a lot of drivers this year and all have been fast. Im excited to have a fun week with family and friends at what I think is the most fun race around! "

The crew chief for Natalie Decker Racing's team during The Fest will be Travis Braden, native of Wheeling, WV. Braden has several super late wins as a race driver including the Winchester 400 in 2016 and Snow Ball Derby in 2019. He also has a dual degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering where his knowledge and skills have made him one of the best crew chiefs.

Travis Braden adds, "I'm so excited to be going to Oktoberfest for the first time, and I'm so glad to get to do it with the most supportive and best friends that Jess and I have had since moving to NC! The four of us have spent many days racing at the same events, but to do it together as a team should be a lot of fun. I'm pumped to see Derek back behind the wheel, and I hope I can give him a great opportunity to go for some wins as his crew chief. Can't wait to go to work and see what we can do."


Public Relations and merchandising for Natalie Decker Racing will be Jessica Ballard, native of Plain City, Ohio. Jess is the manager for Travis Braden Racing and you will also find her on Speed51 The BullRing adding fun, color and her race perspective to the short tracks of America.

Jessica Ballard states, "I am pumped to be rolling into Oktoberfest as a team! Usually we're showing up to the track at competitors or supporting each other from the stands. But to have the whole gang in the same trailer all week is going to be a blast! I think Travis and Derek are going to work really well together. And I'm really excited to see Natalie have full creative reign when it comes to the marketing side of the race event. It'll be so fun to see Natalie & Derek's roles reversed. I know Oktoberfest weekend means a lot to them and I'm so excited they wanted Travis and I to be part of it!"

The 5/8 mile track will host some of the top names in short track racing along with current NASCAR drivers. Natalie Decker Racing's no. 71 Fury with Derek Lemke as the driver will be racing in the Trickle 99, The Futures and The ARCA Midwest Tour. If you are in attendance look for Jess Ballard at the Merch tent and don't miss out on the dog parade-Natalie's dog's Cash and Penny just might make an appearance.


From a young age, Natalie Decker set her goals high in the motorsports industry. Now, at age 22, the Wisconsin native is already well on her way towards becoming one of the top young drivers in the NASCAR scene. Victories and a strong fan base have been a part of Decker’s life and career since she first got behind the wheel of a go-kart. In the years since, she has won races and championships, all leading to being a part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and on her way into the top levels of the sport.

POSTED BY Springrates Team