Hailie Deegan to make NASCAR national series debut at Kansas

Photo Credit Forbes

The rising star from California, Hailie Deegan, will be making her NASCAR national series debut this weekend in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in the Clean Harbors 200 at Kansas Speedway (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Deegan’s Gander Trucks start this weekend will make her the 44th different female driver to compete in a NASCAR national series event and the 21st different female to compete in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Plus, she will be just the third female competitor to make her Gander Trucks series debut at Kansas Speedway; joining Jennifer Jo Cobb (April 28, 2006) and Michelle Theriault (April 28, 2006).

The first female to compete in NASCAR national series competition was Sara Christianson in the NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte (Old) Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 19, 1949 – she started 13th and finished 14th in a field of 33 cars. Christianson only made seven starts in her NASCAR Cup Series career but to this day still holds the record for the best finish by a female in NASCAR Cup Series competition with a fifth-place finish at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1949.

The first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series was Diane Teel back in 1982 at Martinsville Speedway. Teel started the race 32nd and finished 26th. The best finish by a female in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and all of NASCAR national series competition is Danica Patrick’s fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, 2011 – she started the race from the 22nd starting position.

The first female driver to make a start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series was Tammy Jo Kirk at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 19, 1997 – she started ninth and finished 24th. The best finish by a female in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series belongs to Natalie Decker who finished a career-best fifth in the 2020 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Deegan has already accomplished a lot cutting her teeth in the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA Menards Series East and West. The youngster has already posted three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West in her career and this season in the ARCA Menards Series she has put up four top fives, 16 top 10s and is ranked third in the championship standings. 

This weekend at Kansas, Deegan will become the second youngest female driver to make a start in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at the age of 19 years, 2 months and 30 days just behind Johanna Long, who at the age of 18 years, 1 month, 28 days made her series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway Park on July 23, 2010.

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