Hailie Deegan’s rise through the ARCA Series and now in NASCAR has turned many heads towards her. After impressing everyone in the ARCA Series, Hailie Deegan made her NASCAR debut this year with a Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway and is now set to run full-time with DGR-Crosley in 2021.
The 19-year-old’s passion and talents for racing come from family. Her father, Brian Deegan, is one of the top motocross riders in the country and is one of the main reasons for Hailie‘s rise. The youngster hailed her father in a recent interview for his support in grooming and mentoring her.
Growing up, Hailie was often the only girl at the racetrack. Her father always made sure that Hailie was not bothered by that and was not treated differently because she was a girl.
“My dad never made me feel different for being a girl. When I was at the race track, I was always the only girl there,” Deegan said in a recent chat with fellow NASCAR drivers Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Ellis.
This helped her confidence greatly, and Deegan was soon beating everyone comfortably at most races. “In the off-road racing world, I was the person to beat. I wasn’t the girl to beat, I was the person to beat. It just made it to where he never treated me differently,” Deegan said further.
Additionally, Brian also instilled the attitude within her of always striving to be the best. He would make Hailie work towards constantly improving herself and not settling for second place.
“He always wanted me to be the best. It was always like, going into practice, he’s like, ‘You come in second. Why weren’t you first? Let’s go watch the footage and figure out why you weren’t first. Figure out what they’re doing and next practice, you’re gonna go in there and do it better’,” she explained.
Hailie also questioned the attitude of certain people who compare female drivers with other female drivers. She wants to be the best and compared to every driver, male or female.
“What other girls are really in racing? You want to compare me with two or three? No, I want to be compared to everyone else,” Hailie expressed.
Deegan’s confidence has been one of the key features of her rise on the NASCAR circuit. The upcoming season presents her with a great opportunity to further stake her claim in the sport.