“We Ran a Pretty Good Race” – Hailie Deegan Assesses Her Maiden Truck Race at Daytona

Published 02/18/2021, 8:05 AM EST
Feb 12, 2021; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; Camping World Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan (1) makes a pit stop during the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


During the weekend, all three NASCAR seasons finally kicked off. In the Camping World Truck Series, Hailie Deegan finally made her full-time debut. Unfortunately, Deegan did not enjoy a particularly good race at the Daytona International Speedway. As it turned out, she got caught up in a crash and ultimately ended up as the 24th fastest.

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Recently, she summarized her race and assessed her own performance. Deegan said, “I think that going out there, I kinda had a lot of goals. Just being smooth, not being that driver that’s out of control by bouncing on and off the line. I think with my spotter TJ in my ear the whole time, coaching me through it, I felt like we ran a pretty good race until our little incident.”

To make matters worse for her, Deegan finished well behind fellow racer, Jennifer Jo Cobb. Cobb herself managed to break into the Top 20, with an 18th place finish. Without that crash, who knows where Deegan could have finished the race.

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How did Hailie Deegan perform in the race?

Deegan lost control of her #1 truck on Lap 81. As a result of this, she made contact with the inside wall on the backstretch. The good news was that she was still able to limp back to the pits for repairs.

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BAKERSFIELD, CA – OCTOBER 27: Hailie Deegan speaks with media ahead of her race at Kern County Raceway Park on October 27, 2018 in Bakersfield, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Obviously, this race was a massive learning curve for the youngster. Deegan soon realized that she had to be smart to stay ahead in the race. This explains why she also relied on spotter TJ Majors’ coaching on the track.

Now, the 19-year-old will shift her focus on the Daytona International Speedway road course. Considering that the NASCAR paddock will remain on Florida soil for an extra week, this could help her.

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It also helps that she raced on the road layout in 2020, while driving in the ARCA Menards Series. To make matters even sweeter, she even managed to finish sixth on that occasion. However, an ARCA car and a Truck are two different beasts, and she does not yet know how her Truck will handle the 14-turn layout.

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Dhruv George

12013 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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