Hailie Deegan (No. 55 iK9/Monster Energy Toyota) makes her third ARCA Menards Series start of the season coming off a slam-bang win in Saturday night’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway. Deegan’s third career NKNPSW win came with some controversy, however, as she and teammate Derek Kraus came together a couple of times in an overtime finish, with Deegan moving Kraus out of the groove and out of the way in the final corner of the final lap to score her second win of the season and the third of her career.
Deegan, who is making a limited number of ARCA Menards Series starts in 2019 as she chases the K&N Pro Series West championship, was unapologetic afterwards.
“That was probably the scrappiest race I’ve ever ran,” she said. “Everyone was beating and banging doors from the start. We went out there and ran our hardest race. In the end, Derek (Kraus) ran me hard right there so I was going to run him hard back. In the end that’s racing. I got the win and that’s all that matters.”
The 17-year-old Temecula, California, native finished 18th in her ARCA debut at Toledo after an early incident. She rebounded impressively at Pocono, with a fourth-place effort in qualifying before finishing seventh on the biggest and fastest track she has been on to this point in her career. The speeds, approaching 190 miles per hour at the end of Pocono’s three-quarter mile main straightaway, were something her father – legendary X-games freestyle motocross champion Brian Deegan – found a little unsettling at the start.
“One hundred ninety miles per hour for my daughter,” he said, “I’m kind of scared as a dad.”
Deegan’s father won’t have to worry about 190 miles per hour on Friday as she tackles the tight high-banked half-mile of Madison International Speedway for the Shore Lunch 200. Speeds average around 100 miles per hour in qualifying, and the bump-and-grind nature of short track racing will suit Deegan’s style just fine. The Madison race is the third of six she is expected to make in 2019, and while it’s not a large number her results in ARCA could have a significant impact on her future.
“I am not going straight from ARCA into the NASCAR Xfinity Series or K&N into Xfinity, just because I think the Trucks give you a lot,” she said. How these six ARCA races go, how competitive we are, that will really determine what we’re going to do next year.”
Practice for the Shore Lunch 200 at Madison International Speedway is scheduled for 2:15 pm CT/1:15 pm CT on Friday, June 14, with General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 6 pm ET/5 pm CT, and the 200-lap main event slated for 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. The race will be broadcast live flag-to-flag on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. Fans can buy discounted tickets to the Shore Lunch 200 at Madison-area Menards locations for just $20, a savings of $10 per adult general admission ticket. For more information, visit MISRacing.com.