Hailie Deegan already has a full NASCAR Truck Series schedule under her belt, but back on October 17, 2020, she started her Truck Series career off with a bang by making history. The then 19-year-old racer pulled off the best finish by a female driver in her NASCAR series debut, finishing 16th at the Kansas Speedway race.
For her first Truck Series race, Deegan drove the No. 17 Ford for DGR-Crosley, which was also her full-time ARCA Menards Series team at the time. What made her historic moment even more impressive is that Deegan didn’t have any practice time before the race, due to NASCAR restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My first time starting that truck was coming off pit road and taking the green flag,” Deegan told NASCAR.com. “It was definitely difficult. My expectations of how the truck was going to handle based on what my crew told me was not how it handled the first stage. We were able to tune it up to how I liked it and get better every single time we pitted.”
“I think, at the end of the day, it was crazy. I had so much fun, and I can’t wait to do more of it.”
To top off Deegan’s already exciting weekend, Ford Performance announced during the middle of the truck race that Deegan would run full-time in the 2021 Camping World Truck Series with David Gilliland Racing.
Fast forward a year later to 2021, and the 20-year-old Deegan — who also raced in the Superstar Race Experience — drove the No. 1 Ford for DGR. Her best finish was seventh place at the race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
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This post was originally published on October 19, 2020.