It’s a good weekend to go out and carve out a little place in history. And that’s just what Hailie Deegan did when she laid down the quickest lap at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track ahead of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Star Nursery 100 race.
The half-mile track was right up the well-nicknamed Dirt Princess’ alley. She absolutely crushed a lap at 21.329 seconds to secure her place in history as the first ever woman to start from pole. Prior to her, Dominique van Wieringen had held the record as the best starting woman in the series with three second-place starts.
Deegan is only seventeen years old and is already kicking plenty of stock car ass. Which she then went on and proved during the race itself, where she finished in second. The fact that she wasn’t fully satisfied with her best finish to date because she wasn’t taking home that first place trophy bodes well. She’s hungry, and she’s here to prove her worth.
Considering her car was suffering from gearbox issues that meant she wasn’t able to get into or stay in fourth gear, that’s a pretty stellar finish. It’s no win—but it proves she’s demanding. She isn’t going to settle for second best.
After the race, Deegan commented:
No one will treat you differently as soon as you get on the track. No one will drive differently, even though sometimes they drive me a little harder because I’m a girl and they don’t want a 17-year-old girl beating them.
I don’t want to be the best girl, I want to be the best driver. Whatever series I’m racing, I will never be OK with being the best girl. I want to be the best driver no matter what. That was just my mentality growing up. I was trained like that.
In my eyes, Deegan should be celebrating her historic weekend—but I get it. Getting so close to victory only to see it slip from your fingers is frustrating as hell. It’s the time to grind even harder, and I have no doubts Deegan is going to be back on track to claim a win in the near future.