Hailie Deegan has quickly made her share of history in stock car racing. On Sunday, Deegan will try to continue to make history, competing with the ARCA Menards Series at the Springfield Mile, in Springfield, Illinois.
Already the first female to win a race in the former NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Deegan was also the first female to win rookie-of-the-year honors and established a record with her second-place finish in the West championship in 2019.
At 19 years old, the Temecula, California, driver is looking to make her mark in the ARCA Menards Series national tour. Gracie Trotter, another talented young lady, recently became a winner on the ARCA Menards Series West tour.
Deegan, daughter of X-Games freestyle motocross legend Brian Deegan, scored three wins in her two seasons in the West with Bill McAnally Racing. All three wins – at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway in 2018, and at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Colorado National Speedway in 2019 -- came with a pass on the final lap.
“I am going to race them hard for the win,” Deegan said. “The reason I wait until the last lap is that’s what my coach has told me to do. If it’s on the last lap, they don’t have any time to get back to you.”
The next time Deegan executes a pass for the win, it will be one for the record books. It will also be new territory for Deegan, as Sunday will be on a dirt surface at the challenging Springfield Mile in Springfield, IL.
In its 68-year history, no female has ever driven into victory lane to celebrate a win in an ARCA Menards Series race. Before 2020, only Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker-Evernham came close. Robinson finished second at Daytona in 1999, with Crocker taking a trio of runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2006.
In 2018, Natalie Decker started the season with the General Tire Pole Award at Daytona and raced her way to fifth in the race. She matched that result with another fifth-place finish at Elko, earned nine top-ten finishes and ultimately finished seventh in the final series standings.
The move from the West to the bigger venues of the ARCA Menards Series this year hasn’t been the only transition for Deegan in 2020.
She moved to DGR-Crosley Racing, reuniting the Deegan family with the manufacturer that supported much of her father’s extreme sports success, Ford Performance. The move paid immediate results, as Deegan finished second at Daytona in the season opener, tying the all-time series record for best finish by a female driver held by Robinson and Crocker.
Deegan is anxiously awaiting her first visit to the Illinois State Fairgrounds, ARCA’s 38th consecutive season racing at the mile dirt. One of Deegan’s three West Series wins came on the dirt at Las Vegas, and she has been waiting for her chance to take to the fast Springfield mile all season long.
Deegan is third in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 61 points behind leader Bret Holmes. She has three top-five finishes and fifteen top-10s in eighteen teen starts heading into Sunday’s Illinois Truck & Equipment Allen Crowe Memorial 100 (2 pm Central Time, live, MAVTV).
Grandstands will open at 9:00 AM on Sunday with practice starting at 9:30. The DIRTcar Sportsman feature event will be at 12:00 noon with the ARCA Menards Series event at 2:00 PM Central Time.
Tickets for the Springfield Mile event are still available at www.trackenterprises.com or at the gate on raceday. Seating is limited so fans are encouraged to purchase them in advance.
For more detailed information, including times, ticket prices, and more, visit www.trackenterprises.com.
Track Enterprises PR