Hailie Deegan Finishes Out Dream Season As Rookie Of The Year In K&N Pro Series Westby Nicole Hetrick November 5, 2018 0 comments
Seventeen-year-old Hailie Deegan finished out her first year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West as Rookie of the Year.
Deegan had a strong first season while competing in the No. 19 Mobile 1/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing. She only had two DNFs in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and had an average finish of 7.7 through the 14-race schedule. The California native’s best finish came at Meridian Speedway in September, when she became the first woman to win in the NASCAR K&N West Series.
“This has been my dream season,” Deegan said when asked what her year has been like and what it means to win Rookie of the Year. “Everything we wanted to accomplish was accomplished this year. With my team and everyone on the Bill McAnally Racing team gave me the opportunity to do that.”
Deegan is optimistic about her future in NASCAR, but she has faced some challenges coming from a dirt racing background.
“I lack experience compared to some of these guys racing stock cars who have raced pavement for while,” Deegan said. “I think once we get more experience, we will get better and better.”
While Deegan had solid performances in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, there were struggles in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. In six starts, she had three DNFs, two being accidents, and her best finish came at Memphis Motorsports Park where she crossed the finish line in 13th; however, despite the adversity, Deegan prevailed and finished the season out strong.
“This season was a learning year for me,” Deegan said. “I had a lot of goals I wanted to accomplish and needed to accomplish for myself to keep the ball rolling in my career. I knew I needed to win, even though I knew it could happen or it could not. I knew it was possible but everything had to work out.”
When asked by the media at Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend about her plans for 2019, Deegan said, “For next year, I am hoping to run in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and run for a title.”
Photo Credit: Loren Orr/Getty Images for NASCAR