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Hailie Deegan Sabotages Her NASCAR Future Barely Holding Onto Tony Stewarts $40 Million Venture

Published 09/24/2023, 2:51 PM EDT

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The journey of Hailie Deegan in NASCAR has been nothing short of extraordinary. However, recent events have cast a shadow over her aspirations to climb the racing ladder. While she has shone brightly in Tony Stewart‘s $40 million SRX venture, her NASCAR Truck Series performance has left much to be desired.

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Hailie Deegan burst onto the NASCAR scene at just 18 years old, driving for David Gilliland Racing, now known as Tricon Garage. Her 16th-place finish at Kansas Speedway in 2020 was the best by a female on debut in the Gander Trucks Series and immediately endeared her to fans. She represented the minority of female racers in the sport, following in the footsteps of trailblazer Danica Patrick. But her recent shenanigans with one of her rivals have cast a significant shadow on her ambitions of moving up to an Xfinity Series seat.

Hailie Deegan might as well have put a stopper on her rise to the next level in NASCAR


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Deegan’s recent actions on the track have raised eyebrows and led to concerns about her future. One of her notable rivals in the Truck Series is Dean Thompson, with whom she often finds herself in intense on-track battles. However, it’s not just the rivalry that’s causing concern.

During a race in Kansas, a radio exchange between Deegan and her spotter revealed a troubling statement. As she lost ground to Thompson, Deegan’s response was far from sportsmanlike. “I’m junking the mother e**er,” she declared.


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It seems Deegan’s struggles in the Craftsman Truck Series have weighed heavily on her. She now finds herself without her ex-crew chief, Rich Lushes, as he has been shifted to captain her teammate Ben Rhodes. Unsavory remarks about fellow drivers are surely not going to help her cause to find a place in even the 2nd tier of NASCAR.

She recently confessed, “2 to 3 weeks ago, I felt like I was going in a downward spiral when you aren’t doing good in racing. At least in having those results with that though, it becomes like what if the sponsors are getting unhappy? Obviously, it makes it tougher to get new sponsors if I do want to move up to Xfinity, which I do. It makes it harder to find new sponsors when those results aren’t there plain and simple.” The pressure to secure sponsors and deliver strong performances has taken a toll on her confidence.

Moreover, these failures have led her to question if she has what it takes to move up to the Xfinity Series. “People look at the end result number and don’t see whether you’re getting better or not with that. I just felt like I was spiraling and my confidence was completely gone. I started questioning myself of like can I really do this? Do I have in me to go to that next level? Do I have the ability to?”

Despite her struggles in the Truck Series, there is a glimmer of hope for Hailie Deegan’s future. The Xfinity Series, often seen as a stepping stone to NASCAR’s top tier, could be her next destination.

Despite recent setbacks, Deegan could end up racing for Ford in the Xfinity Series

Despite the challenges she faces, there may be a glimmer of hope for Hailie Deegan’s NASCAR career. Xfinity Series team AM Racing has announced plans to expand to a two-car operation in the upcoming season. Speculation is rife that Deegan, a top prospect in the Ford junior driver program, could find a seat with the team.

Watch This Story | Hailie Deegan Faces Another Setback in Her Quest to Reach the Xfinity Series


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Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports raised the possibility on Twitter, stating, “AM Racing announced it will expand to two Xfinity cars next season. A Ford team, it could be a landing spot for Hailie Deegan if Ford is looking for her to move to Xfinity. Still TBA on her plans.”

While Deegan is yet to announce her plans for 2024, her potential move to the Xfinity Series could reignite her career and offer a fresh start.


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As we await official announcements about her next steps, it’s clear that Deegan’s determination and ambition remain undeterred. NASCAR fans and enthusiasts are left to ponder what lies ahead for this promising young talent.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

Veerendra Vikram Singh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With a natural affinity for motorsports, he brings a unique perspective to his coverage of everything NASCAR. His love for sports extends way beyond NASCAR, encompassing Formula 1 and MotoGP and a few other motorsports as well.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob