Daughter of X-Games Legend Brian Deegan Looks to Become Series’ First Female Winner
Hailie Deegan has quickly made her share of history in stock car racing. Saturday, September 5, Deegan will look to make more history at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
Already the first female to win a race in the former NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Deegan was also the first female to win rookie-of-the-year honors and established a record with her second-place finish in the West championship in 2019.
At 19 years old, the Temecula, California, driver is looking to make her mark in the ARCA Menards Series.
Deegan, daughter of X-Games freestyle motocross legend Brian Deegan, scored three wins in her two seasons in the West with Bill McAnally Racing. All three wins – at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway in 2018, and at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Colorado National Speedway in 2019 — came with a pass on the final lap.
“I am going to race them hard for the win,” Deegan said. “The reason I wait until the last lap is that’s what my coach has told me to do. If it’s on the last lap, they don’t have any time to get back to you.”
The next time Deegan executes a pass for the win, it will be one for the record books.
In its 68-year history, no female has ever driven into victory lane to celebrate a win in an ARCA Menards Series race. Before 2020, only Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker-Evernham came close. Robinson finished second at Daytona in 1999, with Crocker taking a trio of runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2006.
In 2018, Natalie Decker started the season with the General Tire Pole Award at Daytona and raced her way to fifth in the race. She matched that result with another fifth-place finish at Elko, earned nine top-ten finishes and ultimately finished seventh in the final series standings.
The move from the West to the bigger venues of the ARCA Menards Series this year hasn’t been the only transition for Deegan in 2020.
She moved to DGR-Crosley Racing, reuniting the Deegan family with the manufacturer that supported much of her father’s extreme sports success, Ford Performance. The move paid immediate results, as Deegan finished second at Daytona in the season opener, tying the all-time series record for best finish by a female driver held by Robinson and Crocker.
Deegan is fourth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 51 behind leader Michael Self and just two points out of third. She has two top-five finishes and eleven top-10s in thirteen starts heading into this weekend’s Zinsser SmartCoat 200 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
The ARCA Menards Series event Saturday is part of a doubleheader weekend of racing which also features the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour on Sunday.
Tickets for the weekend can be purchased online at i44speedway.net or trackenterprises.com. Discounted tickets are also available at Central Missouri Menards and Hudson Feed & Grain in Lebanon. Tickets, wildside parking, and pit passes will also be available at the gate on raceday.