Hailie Deegan Grabs 2nd Place at Daytona
Hailie Deegan certainly didn’t take long to make some history.
The 18-year-old phenom fresh off her first race with Ford Performance finished her first ARCA Menards Series race by grabbing second place at Daytona International Speedway. In so doing, Deegan secured the highest finish for a woman in an ARCA race, tying the mark set by Shawna Robinson and Eric Crocker and becoming the first woman to reach second place in 13 years.
Though Deegan was unable to pilot her No. 4 Monster Energy Ford Fusion past race winner Michael Self, she considers her impressive performance to be an unqualified victory. Deegan added that she didn’t feel compelled to do anything risky to take the top spot from Self, showing the poise of a veteran by saying the priority was maintaining good terms with the other drivers so early in the season.
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“I want to stay away from that and have people on my side so that when I do get in situations like where Michael is and we can help each other, it gets him a victory and me a good finish and we are both happy. That was really my goal,” Deegan said. “Second is really a win to me this weekend. Winning the first race would have maybe been a little too high of standards for the rest of the season. Everything would have been downhill. This gives me something to still work towards.”
A promising start for Deegan
The young Deegan signed a developmental contract with Ford Performance in December 2019 after becoming the first woman to win a race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now the ARCA Menards Series West) and racking up three wins over two seasons. Last month, she made her IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge debut, piloting the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsport Ford Mustang GT4 to 43rd overall.
Deegan will have another shot at making history in the ARCA Series on March 6 at Phoenix Raceway.