Easily described as one of today’s most polarizing figures in professional motorsports, seventeen year-old Hailie Deegan returns to the ARCA Menards Series for Saturday night’s Menards 250 at Elko Speedway.
A member of the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) family, Deegan will travel to Minnesota to make her fourth career ARCA start piloting the No.55 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports.
Set to make her first appearance on Elko Speedway’s tight 3/8-mile racing surface, Deegan is no stranger to the high intensity, door-to-door banging racing associated with this type of short track venue. A three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, each of Deegan’s victories came on tracks less than a 1/2-mile in length. In search of her first ARCA Series victory Elko Speedway should provide added confidence for the Temecula, CA teenager.
“Coming out of the gate really strong is big for me,” said Deegan. “I like to come out of the gate strong and not have to work at it to get up to speed too much. I like to make my goal for each race and then get better throughout the day. As a racer I always want to win. But I’m still early on in my career and still learning these ARCA cars. The goal for Elko is a top five. We have a top ten in the ARCA series now we need a top five. Once we get that first top five then we’ll adjust to our first win. We need to set a new goal every week and then work our way into it.”
During her last race at Madison International Speedway Deegan ran inside the top-5 before her engine expired during the final laps resulting in a disappointing 12th place finish. She also earned a career best eighth-place finish last month during her first visit to Pocono Raceway.
One of the sport's most compelling driver prospects in the sport today, Deegan etched her name in NASCAR's record books last year becoming the first female to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series event in over 30-years. She backed up her record setting performance earlier this season grabbing more headlines after picking up her second career victory at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. She claimed her third career NASCAR K&N victory in June with a dramatic last lap bump and run pass for the win at Colorado National Speedway.
The daughter of legendary X Games Motocross giant Brian Deegan, Hailie began her driving career at the age of eight racing dirt on four wheels. She's the only female driver in the Lucas Oil Off Road Pro series as well as Regional series to win Championships in 2013, 2015, 2016 along with being the only youth ever to win the Lucas Oil Off Road Pro Series Driver of the Year award (2016).
Deegan and the rest of the ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Saturday July 13 in the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. Practice at Elko Speedway is set for 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the 250-lap feature event will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.