17-year-old Hailie Deegan's win puts her in NASCAR history books
At 17 years old, Hailie Deegan raced into history on Saturday with a win at the NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 at Meridian Speedway in Idaho, giving the 17-year-old her first career victory and the first win by a female driver in the 64-year-history of NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West division.
It was the latest development in what has been a breakout season for the teenager, in which he has posted five top-five finishes and 10 top 10 finishes in 12 races.
The moment @HailieDeegan became more than just a racer. She became a winner! pic.twitter.com/JRcXRAThrQ
— Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) September 30, 2018
Deegan led all of one lap in the race, passing Bill McAnally Racing teammate Cole Rouse during the final lap. It was a scenario that Deegan was more than ready for, telling NASCAR.com that she had visualized that exact move playing out Friday night.
“I was in bed last night thinking, ‘If it comes down, last lap, I’m in second, I’m a car length off of him, what am I going to do?’”, Deegan said. “And I found that Turn 1 spot. I knew what exactly I had to do there. I was doing it to some other people just getting right under them to get them a little light to get them, not wrecking loose, nothing crazy, but enough to just get a little under them and make the pass happen. We did that. I knew exactly what I had to do the last lap. I did it, we executed, and we made it happen.”
Deegan was understandably happy online after the game, tweeting out a now-completed goals for 2018.
LAST GOAL ✅!!! WE DID IT pic.twitter.com/ypjJWDMDt9
— Hailie Deegan (@HailieDeegan) September 30, 2018
Of course, the racer herself wasn’t the only person happy for the possible star in the making.
Congrats on the win @HailieDeegan, nice work! 🏁#TeamToyota https://t.co/DXKfTMkiIh
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) September 30, 2018
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