Hailie Deegan already has two full NASCAR Truck Series seasons under her belt, but back on October 17, 2020, she started her Truck career off with a bang by making history. The then 19-year-old racer pulled off the best finish by a female driver in her NASCAR series debut, finishing 16th at the Kansas Speedway race.
For her first Truck Series race, Deegan drove the No. 17 Ford for DGR-Crosley, which was also her full-time ARCA Menards Series team at the time. What made her historic moment even more impressive is that Deegan didn't have any practice time before the race, due to NASCAR restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My first time starting that truck was coming off pit road and taking the green flag," Deegan told NASCAR.com. "It was definitely difficult. My expectations of how the truck was going to handle based on what my crew told me was not how it handled the first stage. We were able to tune it up to how I liked it and get better every single time we pitted."
"I think, at the end of the day, it was crazy. I had so much fun, and I can't wait to do more of it."
To top off Deegan's already exciting weekend, Ford Performance announced in the middle of the truck race that Deegan would run full-time in the 2021 Camping World Truck Series with DGR (which would later go by David Gilliland Racing, and today is known as TRICON Garage).
Fast forward nearly two years later, and the 21-year-old Deegan -- who also raced in the Superstar Race Experience in 2020 and 2021 -- is starting the next chapter in her career by racing for ThorSport in 2023. Earning three top-10 finishes during her two seasons with DGR, Deegan is ready to move onto bigger and better things. Will she go on to set even more historic milestones in the coming years? I'd bet on it.
MORE: When It Comes to Aggressive Racing, Hailie Deegan Is Taking a Few Pages Out of Kyle Busch's Book
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