In the 2021 Truck Series season, Hailie Deegan is set to make her full-time debut. The 19-year-old will join the DGR-Crosley team on a full-time basis. Now, the latest news says that former Kyle Busch Motorsports crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr, will join the team as her crew chief.
It is also worth noting that Hillman Jr is the former crew chief of Truck driver Raphael Lessard. Additionally, Hillman Jr is the second crew chief to exit the team after Rudy Fugle. Fugle is set to take over as William Byron’s crew chief in the 2021 Cup Series season.
The 19-year-old already had her first taste of Truck racing action earlier this year. To be exact, she had a 16th-place finish at the Kansas Speedway, which actually set a record. Apparently, she is now the record-holder for the highest finish by a female driver on her debut in the Truck Series. She took over the reins from Johanna Long’s 17th place finish in July 2010.
After a hugely successful rookie season in the ARCA Menards series, she is ready to play in the big leagues. Deegan acknowledged that the team has set lofty goals for her, but they are also aware that she is in a ‘developmental phase.’
“Obviously, I have a lot to learn. Hey, I’m in the Ford development program, it’s not Ford Cup Series Racing. It’s Ford development,” Deegan said during a media interaction.
Obviously, the DGR-Crosley team will not pressure Hailie Deegan to gun for wins right off the bat. She insisted that there is a chance that she might make mistakes, just like everyone else. At the same time, she knows it is important to show the ability to improve. That being said, the teenager cannot wait for the Daytona 500 to arrive and mark her Truck Series debut.