At 21, Hailie Deegan Is Already at a NASCAR Career Crossroad


  • Haley Deegan is gearing up for her third straight season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
  • In 2023 she will be racing a Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing. ThorSport Racing is a team with five driver-her championships since 2013 and is looking to become the top team in the truck series.
  • At ThorSport, Deegan will be part of a four-track dream that also includes Crafton, Rhodes and Ty Majeski.

    Hailey Deegan was proclaimed by many of us in the media as NASCAR’s next big thing when Ford Performance added her to its roster of development drivers in December 2019.

    Deegan, who was just 18 at the time, appeared to be on the fast track to the Cup Series, and after a solid third-place finish in season points in the 2020 ARCA Menards Series, the fast track appeared justified. I was. This led to his rapid promotion to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 2021.

    But with Deegan gearing up for his third straight season in the Truck Series, while showing a NASCAR résumé eager to move up to the Xfinity Series, the road to the Cup Series is on the way. At least it’s late.

    Scheduled for 2023, however, the story has a twist.

    Haley Deegan finished 21st in the 2022 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings.

    icon sport wireGetty Images

    Deegan, 21, and her Ford Performance partner will undoubtedly move to the top team in the Truck Series after signing with Tall Sports Racing next season. The ThorSport driver has won four truck series his championships since 2013, most recently he won the 2021 championship with Ben Rose. Matt Crafton won team titles in 2013, 2014 and 2019.

    In addition to Deegan’s addition, ThorSport will transition from Toyota to field Ford F-150 branded trucks next season. And with ThorSport operations her team and the resources behind her, this season could be either put up or shut up for Deegan.

    Fans may find out if the sport’s next big thing really is someone to get excited about.

    “I’ve been under pressure all my life,” Deegan said at a press conference last week. I feel that if you can’t handle the pressure, you probably shouldn’t have that kind of pressure.

    “When you go out there and do the best you can, try as hard as you can for it, give it your all, do everything you can, and I think everyone else understands that. Read More I wish you success.”

    For the record, NASCAR hasn’t been as successful as Deegan speaks of. 46 Career Tracks He only recorded three top-10 finishes when the series began driving David Gilliland’s Ford Racing. In her 2022 she crashed in 5 of 23 races. She finished 17th in the points standings in 2021 before she returned to 21st in 2022.

    Obviously, the change of scenery is worth seeing.

    “I believe in myself,” Deegan said. At the stage of development, we need to proceed to the next step. I think ThorSport is a very established team and a very established path to success. Changes in the development of the truck series and the truck itself. They have been a very good and consistent team and I feel like this is going to be a good year for me. “

    It’s a good bet that those in the glass offices of both Ford and NASCAR hope so. Danica Since his Patrick retired following his 2018 Daytona 500, the series and its marketing his machine has been waiting patiently for someone to be the next woman to make an impact on the Cup her series. rice field.

    Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Daytona 500

    Danica Patrick’s last race in the NASCAR Cup Series was the 2018 Daytona 500.

    Sarah ClavillGetty Images

    Patrick has been called a trailblazer, the man who broke NASCAR’s glass ceiling and qualified for the Cup. Amazingly, however, no woman has competed in the Cup in five years since Patrick’s last start. And before that, dating all the way back to Shauna Robinson in 2002, at the convention she needs to find the woman behind the wheel of the NASCAR Cup car.

    Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, looks at the growth of Deegan’s game over the past two seasons.

    “We love seeing our development drivers progress and progress on and off the track. “I think[she]has made a lot of progress, both on the track and in the simulator with the team,” Rushbrook said. Told.

    “I think this is the next opportunity for the team that is around her, the people that are around her, to give her the opportunity to go to another level.”

    At ThorSport, Deegan will be part of a four-track dream that also includes Crafton, Rhodes and Ty Majeski. Majeski joined his teammates his Crafton and Rhodes to nearly advance to Championship 4 as this season’s Truck Series his champion.

    NASCAR Xfinity Series Arsco Uniform 302 Qualifier

    Haley Deegan made her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in Las Vegas in October with a solid 13th place finish. She hopes to make a few more starts in the series in 2023.

    Sean GardnerGetty Images

    “The quality of our teammates and the experience these teammates have had here is unbelievable,” Deegan said. “It’s great to talk, have a conversation, see how open and willing they are to help you, and make sure you’re as comfortable as possible.

    “You have to have teammates who are happy to work with you. I’m happy to go ahead and help you make it happen.” Have a game plan and that kind of conversation up front, or if one of your teammates is performing better than the other, you can say, ‘Hey, here we go. What are you feeling? What has changed? What did you like or dislike?”

    Please do not make any mistakes. Rushbrook and Ford are still as fully committed to that genius as they were when he introduced his Deegan to NASCAR media in 2019.

    “We are a family owned business,” says Rushbrook. To have the right team and the right people around her to take the next step and keep moving forward.

    “She shows the growth potential we’ve seen all along. This is an opportunity to take it to the next level.”



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