Hailie Deegan is taking another step up in NASCAR racing. The 19-year-old is now a full-time driver in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Ford Performance announced Deegan’s move Saturday as she was making her trucks debut at Kansas. She will run a full schedule for DGR-Crosley in the 2021 season.
“Obviously that’s our goal for next but we’ve still got a few deals to sign,” Deegan told reporters on a Zoom call after finishing 16th in Saturday’s race (per Fox Sports). She added that she believes those deals will come together by the end of the year.
“Truck racing, I think it’s where I need to be at to learn and to develop at the pace that I think I need to, at the moment,” she added. “I feel like I need a lot more experience under my belt, a lot more hard racing, a lot more messing with the air like you are in truck racing.
“It’s just going to take time to learn. I think it’s going to be a struggle at first. I’m not going to go out there and set the world on fire and win my first race out there and people have to understand that. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take a lot of learning, but I think eventually we’ll obviously get better with time.”
Deegan raced this year in the ARCA Menards Series, where she earned Rookie of the Year honors. She finished third in the series points standings on the strength of 17 top-10 finishes in 20 races. She did not win a race.
She does have three career victories, all in the K&N Pro Series West, where she raced in 2018 and 2019.
Deegan joins Jennifer Jo Cobb, Natalie Decker and Angela Ruch as women racing in the truck series full time. The Truck Series is one of the three major national circuits in NASCAR, along with the Cup Series and Xfinity Series.