The teenage phenomenon Hailie Deegan makes history in Daytona


The aspiring stock car racing star Hailie Deegan continues to make a name for himself.

18-year-old Deegan finished second in her first ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. She linked Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker for a woman's best result in an ARCA race. She was in the top 10 for most of the race.

"The second wins this weekend," said Deegan. “I think winning the first race would have been a little too high for us this season. Everything would have gone downhill. At least I have to work towards something. "

Born in California, she was the first woman to win a race in the K&N Pro Series West from NASCAR in 2018 at the age of 17. Last season she had two more wins and finished third in the table.

Deegan, who switched from Toyota to Ford in the off-season, will contest the next race in the ARCA series at Phoenix Raceway on March 6. She said she learned a lot from Saturday's race and noticed that it will likely help her for the rest of the season.

"I think the first race sets the tone for the season," said Deegan. “A good first race can help keep the ball going and help the guys in the store. When you are at a good, positive level, you can avoid each other and work ethic, and that only helps for the rest of the year. "

Michael Self (25) leads Hailie Deegan (4) in the final lap at Lucas Oil 200 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Michael Self (25) leads Hailie Deegan (4) in the final lap at Lucas Oil 200 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Deegan was appointed to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity team in 2016 and received the NASCAR Diversity Young Racer Award the following year before becoming one of nine drivers nominated for the 2017 NASCAR Next Class. She was both the youngest member and the only female member of the team.

Deegan became a full-time driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in January 2018 for Bill McAnally Racing (BMR), a distinguished team that had won the West Series championship over the past three seasons. She was the only driver to start full-time in both K&N series in 2018.

Deegan ended the 2019 season with a fourth place at the ISM Raceway and finished third in the overall ranking.