In her hometown of Eagle River, Wisconsin, she raced for her family-owned team called Decker Racing, which began with her father and uncle, Allen and Chuck Decker. Both raced snowmobiles, and the family tradition continued with their daughters.
Paige’s teammates were her younger sister, Claire, and cousin, Natalie. Growing up, they both looked up to her.
“I’ve always been there for them, and every time they race at home, they call and update me, and that’s how I want it to be,” she said. “I just want to be a role model for them and do everything I can so they can succeed.”
After racing snowmobiles, Paige transitioned to go-karts, and eventually began to race limited late models and super late models. In 2013, Paige became the first female and rookie to win a race in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series after taking the checkered at Golden Sands Speedway. She later became the first woman to receive the Rookie of the Year award after a successful season in the series.
Alongside racing, Paige had an active childhood. She danced and competed in water skiing, but as racing grew more prominent, the other extracurricular activities dwindled, and so did her social life.
“It was tough trying to balance the racing and all the other activities even from a young age. I had very few friends because a lot of them just didn’t understand how seriously I took the racing,” she said. “In order for me to do something 100 percent, I wanted to focus on one thing.”
Her hard work and focus paid off. After her second attempt at NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity combine, she was selected to the 2014 Rev Racing Team and now races her late model in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Though Paige constantly raced and has garnered much success, it wasn’t all fun and games for the young female driver growing up. Her father made her and her sister work at the two hotels he still owns. In the hotels, the Decker girls literally worked their way from the ground up.
“My dad used to make us pick up cigarette buds in the driveway of the hotel, and he wouldn’t pay us. It was horrible,” she laughed. “I think he just wanted to keep us grounded, so he told us we had to work.”
That’s not all Allen made his daughters do to earn their racing privileges. Paige and Claire were also responsible for getting their own sponsors throughout their racing careers.
After graduating from high school in 2011, Paige attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout for two years. But, balancing college-level coursework and full time racing proved to be a difficult task. Like most young drivers pursuing an education and racing career, she struggled to convince her professors how serious racing was to her, and she occasionally missed classes, which eventually caused her academics to suffer.
“It was really tough to focus on both academics and racing. I left home to come down here and follow my dream,” she said. “I never thought that I would have dropped out of school to come down here and race, but I have a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I’m trying to make the best of it.”
In college, Paige was a member of the university’s dance team and studied early childhood education because she has a passion for children. She discovered her love for kids when she volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in high school, and though she dreams of becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup race, she also hopes to teach kindergarten in the future.
Paige enjoys volunteering with special education students and participated in pen pal projects writing letters to elementary students in Wisconsin.
The Mexican-food lover also works as a hostess at On The Border when she’s not revving it up on the track or playing with her cat, Chase.
ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.