When Hailie Deegan won the 2019 Star Nursery 100 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Tack, the then 19-year-old racing prodigy proved that she was more than just a one-win wonder. Deegan kicked off her second season in the K&N Pro Series West series with a bang, winning the second race of her professional career, with her first being the 2018 NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 at Meridan Speedway (a win that made her the first female driver to win a race in the West Series).
Though the driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing started out eighth out of 19 in the season opener, she eventually fought her way to the front of the pack, and despite being four seconds behind driver Jagger Jones with 10 laps to go, she pulled off an incredible last-lap pass to eke out an epic win.
"In the end we wouldn't have caught him if it weren't for the lapped cars," Deegan said after the race. "And they got in his way. If I was him, I'd be mad. Really mad. But some peoples losses are other peoples wins and we ended up getting it done. I knew what we had to do to win. I knew it was going to come down to the last lap again and we made it happen."
As it turns out, the 16-year-old Jones wasn't mad, just disappointed, that he didn't get the job done at Vegas.
"Hailie definitely had a little more speed at the end," he said dejectedly. "But I think I would've held her off no problem, but lapped car cut me off, pushed me right into the tire on the last lap and Hailie was just able to get underneath me. Definitely wanted that win."
WATCH: Hailie Deegan Beats Jagger Jones at 2019 Star Nursery 100
Following her big win in Vegas, Deegan would go on to rack up one more win and an additional top-five finishes on the way to an third-place showing in the K&N Pro Series West standings. Since then, the 21-year-old Deegan has logged two full seasons in the Craftsman Truck Series, during which she won back-to-back Most Popular Driver honors. In 2023, she'll make the switch from David Gilliland Racing to ThorSport Racing.
While Deegan still has a lot of work to do to live up to the hype (she has only three top-10 finishes out of 46 races run in the Truck Series), her aggressive racing style, which she fully demonstrated in Vegas back in 2019, shows that she has plenty of promise as a pro.
MORE: This Legendary NASCAR Analyst Thinks That Hailie Deegan "Has Got To Step It Up"
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