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ARCA Rookie Of The Year Hailie Deegan To Join NASCAR Truck Series Full Time In 2021

Illustration for article titled ARCA Rookie Of The Year Hailie Deegan To Join NASCAR Truck Series Full Time In 2021
Photo: Chris Graythen (Getty Images)

During the middle of Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race, it was announced that Hailie Deegan would be competing in the series full time in 2021. She was competing in the race when it was announced, which was her first ever Truck Series start.

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She’ll team up with DGR-Crosley in NASCAR, the team that she has contested her ARCA season with this year. At just 19 years old, Deegan won Rookie of the Year honors at Friday night’s ARCA season finale and took home third place overall in the 2020 championship.

Deegan said the following in NASCAR’s press release:

I am excited for this next step in my career with Ford Performance. 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.

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Deegan signed with Ford Performance in December of 2019 after beginning her career with Toyota. She was slated to run far more races than she has this year but had her schedule postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Rushbrook, global director for For Performance motorsports, sounded pleased with the move. “We are very happy with Hailie’s progress as demonstrated in her first year as a part of our Ford Performance driver development program,” he 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.”

Deegan has jumped through the stock car ranks rather quickly after growing up following her father’s footsteps. Brian Deegan, a freestyle motocross rider and founding member of the Metal Mulisha, got his daughter started out on dirt before she moved to pavement.

In 2018, she became the first woman to win a race in the K&N Pro Series West (now known as ARCA West) with her team Bill McAnally Racing. The following year, she won two further races in the series and finished third in the championship.

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She moved up to ARCA proper this year for a full-time effort. She secured a best race finish of second. At her Truck Series debut, she finished 16th.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

I was sort of hoping she wouldn’t be pushed up too quickly.  I feel she could use one more year in ARCA (at least a win there would be a boost) before moving up to trucks.  Last thing one would want to see is her career get stalled like Decker’s career seems to be right now.