17-year-old Hailie Deegan made NASCAR history Saturday night in Idaho. At Meridian Raceway, Deegan became the first female to win a K&N Pro Series race in just her 18th career NASCAR race.
Deegan was near the front all race along with her Bill McAnally Racing teammates Cole Rouse and Derek Kraus, who was leading for the majority of the race. After Kraus avoided a spinning car, he fell to third and it became a battle between Rouse and Deegan while Kraus was close behind. There, Deegan picked her moment, getting around her teammate in the final laps to get her elusive first win.
— NASCAR Regional & Local Series (@NASCARHomeTrack) September 30, 2018
The daughter of X Games legend Brian Deegan, Hailie started racing in NASCAR this year after honing her racing skills on dirt. Joining Toyota and their driver development program along with being a NASCAR Next driver, Hailie adjusted to asphalt racing rather quickly, earning the praise of NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick, who raced against her earlier this year. She consistently finished toward the top five and earned her first runner-up finish in June. In the K&N Pro Series’ return to dirt in nearly 40 years, Deegan won the pole and finished second last week in Las Vegas.
Tonight’s win makes Deegan the second woman to ever win a NASCAR race and the first to win in nearly 30 years. Shawna Robinson won three races in the now-defunct Dash Series in the late 80s. The sky’s the limit for the 17-year-old as she looks to move up the NASCAR ranks. This win is surely a continuation of that journey.