Hailie Deegan Continues to Write History in ARCA Menards Series
(Winchester, IN) Hailie Deegan has quickly made her share of history in stock car racing. Deegan will be looking for her first career ARCA Menards Series win this coming Saturday, September 19 at Winchester Speedway. Tickets are still available for the Toyota 200 presented by Crosley Brands, which begins at 3:00 PM.
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.
Two races ago, at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Missouri, Deegan had perhaps the best race of her ARCA Menards Series career. She led 85 laps, the most of anyone, on her way to a fifth-place finish. She was in fourth on the last lap when contact with another driver caused her to spin in turn one, but she recovered without losing any additional positions.
By leading the most laps, she matched a feat that had only been accomplished one other time in ARCA’s 68=year history: the only other female driver to lead the most laps in an ARCA Menards Series race was Shawna Robinson in the season finale at Atlanta in 2000.
She followed that performance with her best qualifying run of 2020, third, at Toledo Speedway where she went on to earn her 13th top-ten finish of the season in fifteen starts.
Deegan is third in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 49 behind leader Bret Holmes. She has three top-five finishes and thirteen top-10s in fifteen starts heading into Thursday’s Bush Beans 200 (9:30 pm ET, live, FS1) and Saturday’s Toyota 200 presented by Crosley Brands (3 pm ET, live, TrackPass, 6 pm ET, same-day delay, MAVTV).
Tickets are available online for a $5 discount but will also be available at the gate on raceday.
Grandstands open Saturday at 12:00 PM, practice starts at 12:15, General Tire pole qualifying is at 1:30, and the green is scheduled to drop on the Toyota 200 presented by Crosley Brands at 3:12.