NASCAR’s Hailie Deegan Uses Slur During Virtual Race, Issues Apology

by Kayla Zadel

NASCAR’s Hailie Deegan is in hot water. The race car driver was recorded using the R-word during a live stream.

Deegan was streaming for the first time on her Twitch channel for the virtual race. She’s talking on her microphone during a caution light. Then she’s “bumped” by a driver behind her during the iRacing event. Deegan uses the slur to address the incident.

The NASCAR driver later posted an apology to Twitter.

“Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch.  It was inappropriate slang and a stupid thing to do. I apologize to everyone who was offended by it.  There’s no excuse for it, and I know I have to do better for my sponsors and my fans,” the 19-year-old’s statement reads.

Below is a recording of Deegan using the slur.

“This is fun. Oh, ay, who’s the r—-d behind me? Don’t do that please,” Deegan says in this video clip. An unidentified person on the live stream is laughing in response.

The incident did catch the ear of one of Deegan’s sponsors. Ford signed the NASCAR driver to be part of its driver development program before the 2020 season. Ford also released a statement about her slur.

“We are aware of this inappropriate comment,” the automaker said via NBC Sports.“Hailie immediately acknowledged this mistake, has apologized, and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future.”

More on Hailie Deegan

This teenage NASCAR driver is the daughter of motocross legend and off-road racer Brian Deegan. She grew up racing off-road and on dirt. Deegan even raced dirt bikes growing up. However, she made the switch to competing on asphalt in 2016 to pursue a career in stock car racing. 

According to Yahoo Sports, Deegan is one of the more popular drivers in NASCAR. She’s excelled in almost every NASCAR class that she’s competed in. Additionally, she raced in NASCAR’s ARCA Series. Deegan is the first woman to win an ARCA race in 2018. She was only 17 at the time.

Deegan finished third in the ARCA series points standings in 2020. Furthermore, she’s preparing to run a full season in the Truck Series in 2021. Deegan drives the No. 17 Ford F-150 for David Gilliland Racing. This is another step in the NASCAR ladder.

The young racer is known for her aggressive moves on the racetrack. Racer‘s Kelly Crandall wrote in 2019, “Deegan doesn’t care what anyone on or off the track thinks, and she has repeatedly made it clear she’s here to win races, will do so at any cost, and then climb out and tell you all about it.”