Ford is moving Hailie Deegan up from ARCA to the Truck Series.
The manufacturer announced Saturday that Deegan would run a full-time Truck Series schedule in 2021. Deegan, 19, ran in the ARCA Series in 2020 and finished third in the standings, though just four drivers competed in each of the season’s 20 races. She’ll continue to race for DGR-Crosley Racing in the Truck Series.
“We are very happy with Hailie’s progress as demonstrated in her first year as a part of our Ford Performance driver development program,” Ford’s Mark Rushbrook said in a statement. “Continuing with the consistency from DGR-Crosley, Hailie is ready to make the step to the NASCAR Truck Series, providing some intense competition and great racing.”
Deegan made her first Truck Series start Saturday at Kansas Speedway. She finished sixth in the ARCA season finale at the track the night before.
Deegan, the daughter of former motocross rider Brian Deegan and the most recognizable non-Cup Series driver in NASCAR, became the first woman to win a NASCAR K&N West Series (now ARCA West Series) race when she won in 2018. She won three races across the 2018 and 2019 West Series seasons and moved up to ARCA full-time in 2020.
She had four top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes in a diluted ARCA season. The minor league series has been struggling to draw full fields in recent years and was hurt immensely by the coronavirus pandemic. Brad Smith, the driver who finished sixth in the points standings, had no lead-lap finishes and an average finish of 16.4 in 19 races. There were 20 or fewer entrants in 13 of 20 ARCA races in 2020.
Deegan joined Ford ahead of the 2020 season after she was a Toyota development driver in her two K&N West seasons.
“I am excited for this next step in my career with Ford Performance,” Deegan said. “I have raced trucks in the off-road world but to now have the opportunity to race trucks next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a dream come true.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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