A few laps after she made her NASCAR Truck series debut at Kansas Speedway Saturday, Ford Performance announced that Hailie Deegan will move full time to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021, teaming with DGR-Crosley Racing.
The 19-year old just finished her first full season in ARCA with DGR-Crosley Racing. Ford Performance announced Saturday that Hailie Deegan will move full time to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021, teaming with DGR-Crosley Racing.
“I am excited for this next step in my career with Ford Performance,” Deegan said. “I have raced trucks in the off-road world but to now have the opportunity to race trucks next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a dream come true. I have some great partners already behind me for next season. We have a few primaries still available and I hope that we can fill these up in the coming weeks. I can’t wait for Daytona 2021 to get here.”
Saturday, she raced in the No. 17 Ford for DGR-Crosley co-owners David Gilliland and Bo LeMastus running in the top 15 most of the race finishing 16, the best ever showing for a female driver in her truck series debut. She had veteran crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on the pit box Saturday and Tim Fedewa who spots for Cup driver Kevin Harvick, spotting for her.
“Oh man, I think my goal was just to finish the race,” Deegan said. “It’s crazy compared to ARCA racing how intense this racing is, how competitive it is. You’re trying to block one guy while pass another and next thing you know, you’ve got two guys blowing by you if you don’t make a successful pass. It’s a lot tougher racing, but I think we definitely had a successful day.”
Deegan started NASCAR career with Toyota Racing and was signed to Ford’s driver development program last December. She earned three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West the last two seasons before moving to the main ARCA tour this year.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic put racing schedules on hold, Ford had said they had “a broad scope of racing activities planned.” Despite the shortened, and chaotic schedules this season, , Mark Rushbrook — the global director for Ford Performance Motorsports said he is pleased with her performance.
“We are very happy with Hailie’s progress as demonstrated in her first year as a part of our Ford Performance driver development program,” Rushbrook said. “Continuing with the consistency from DGR-Crosley, Hailie is ready to make the step to the NASCAR Truck Series, providing some intense competition and great racing.”
In the ARCA Series, Deegan finished sixth in Friday’s season finale. She had four top-five finishes and 17 top 10s in 20 starts this season with a best result of second place twice — once in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and earlier this month on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. She earned a third-place finish in the final ARCA 2020 standings.