Hailie Deegan has climbed the NASCAR ladder at an impressive rate, and she might be just months away from taking her most significant step yet.
The 17-year-old could make her NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut in 2020, Toyota Racing executive Jack Irving Jr. recently told Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern. Deegan has scored victories in two of seven K&N Pro Series West races this season while driving the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing.
Overall, the teen phenom has three wins and ten top-fives in 21 career K&N West starts to go along with one top-ten finish in 10 career K&N East races.
Deegan quickly has become one of the more polarizing prospects in recent NASCAR history.
Ever-active on social media and unafraid to speak her mind, Deegan has irked some NASCAR diehards who feel her immense hype is a product of her gender, rather than skill. Unsurprisingly, some believe Deegan simply is riding on the coattails of the recently retired Danica Patrick.
That’s all a bunch of nonsense, though. Deegan has blazed her own trail in racing, and her three K&N victories (again, all before her 18th birthday) prove she’s worthy of a promotion NASCAR’s national series.
And her personality? Sorry, NASCAR fans, but she has the kind of attitude and swagger that your sport desperately needs.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images