19-Year-Old Hailie Deegan to Make Nascar National Series Debut in Kansas

by Josh Lanier

Hailie Deegan will make her NASCAR series debut later this month at Kansas Speedway it was announced Wednesday.

The 19-year-old will drive the No. 17 Ford DGR-Crosley in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Clean Harbors 200. Deegan currently drives in the ARCA Menards Series. The California native is ranked third in the standings with four top-five and 16 top-10 finishes in 19 races.

Ford announced the move on Twitter.

Deegan has yet to win in the ARCA Menards Series, but did win three races in 2018-19 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season.

A few weeks ago, Deegan discussed her hopes to make a Truck Series race this season. She had a plan in place, but the COVID-19 situation affected her team’s budgets. She feared she would have to wait until next season or perhaps longer.

“I didn’t have this in my plan,” Deegan said then, according to NASCAR. “This wasn’t in my couple-year plan of stock-car racing, of trying to make it. This was something no one had in their plan, no one has ever been through before”

Hailie Deegan, NASCAR reacts to the news

Hailie Deegan took to Twitter to express her excitement about joining the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, but she wanted to temper expectations.

“It’s gonna be a big step for me. First time in the truck will be taking the green flag with no practice. Goal is to just finish the race! Can’t thank everyone enough for the support@FordPerformance @Ford,” she posted.

Former driver and current Fox NASCAR analyst Michael Waltrip wished her luck.

As did analyst Kaitlyn Vincie.

The Clean Harbors 200 is 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 17.