Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hailie Deegan Makes History With K&N Pro Series #Win At Meridian

Deegan Makes History With K&N Pro Series Win At Meridian

First Female Driver To Score Series Victory

Hailie Deegan - First Female Driver To Score Series VictoryHailie Deegan made history on Saturday night by winning the NAPA AUTO PARTS Idaho 208 at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway and becoming the first female driver to win in the history of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Temecula, California was making just her 12th start in the West’s oldest stock car series – driving Bill McAnally Racing’s No. 19 Mobil 1 / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry.

“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 edged out BMR teammate Cole Rouse with a last-lap pass to win by .329 seconds and lead a 1-2-3 finish for BMR. Derek Kraus, who led 190 laps in dominating the event ended up third.

“I was behind Cole and I knew we were faster,” Deegan said of the closing laps. “Cole was over driving a little bit and I knew I was faster if I hit my marks. The last few laps I hit my marks. I knew I had to give Cole a little push up in (Turn) 1 to get past him. I gave him a little nudge and got him a little loose and I got under him and we won.”

Race Results
R S #   Driver Laps
1 4 19   Hailie Deegan * 208
2 3 99   Cole Rouse 208
3 1 16   Derek Kraus 208
4 5 6   Derek Thorn 208
5 2 9   Ryan Partridge 208
6 7 22   Trevor Huddleston * 207
7 8 10   Matt Levin 207
8 6 27   Jeff Jefferson 207
9 9 43   Kody Vanderwal 207
10 14 36   Sting Ray Robb * 206
11 11 77   Andrew Koens * 205
12 15 32
  Taylor Canfield *
13 13 8   Travis Milburn 151
14 12 11   Takuma Koga 47
15 10 91   Kyle Tellstrom * 14
* Rookie Drivers

Hailie Deegan's Winning Team

Deegan talked about being the first female driver to win in the series.

“It hasn’t even sunk in yet,” she said. “It’s going to be a crazy next couple of days.

“I’m so happy that Toyota and Bill took a chance on me this year,” she said. “They took a chance on me – Jack Irving and Toyota, NAPA, and Bill. They’re the ones who took the chance on me and it paid off.”

Deegan had become the first female to win a pole in the series, setting the fast mark in qualifying at the most recent event on the circuit – at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track earlier this month. Her previous best career finish was second, which she registered on two occasions this year – at Las Vegas (two weeks ago) and at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Oregon in June. That tied the series’ record for highest finish by a woman in either the K&N Pro Series East or West.

With her win, Deegan regained the lead in rookie points for the series and moved to fifth in the overall championship standings. In 12 starts, she has one win, five top-five, and 10 top-10 series finishes.

2018 K&N Pro Series Point Standings

  Driver Races Points Diff
1   Derek Thorn 12 505
2   Ryan Partridge 12 473 -32
3   Cole Rouse 12 473 -32
4   Derek Kraus 12 466 -39
5   Hailie Deegan 12 438 -67
6   Trevor Huddleston 12 430 -75
7   Kody Vanderwal 12 412 -93
8   Matt Levin 11 354 -151
9   Takuma Koga 12 333 -172
10   Todd Souza 8 237 -268
11   Will Rodgers 7 230 -275
12   Bill Kann 7 225 -280
13   Jesse Iwuji 6 156 -349
14   Vanessa Robinson 4 143 -362
15   Devin Dodson 4 142 -363
16   Ron Norman 4 131 -374
17   Cole Keatts 3 113 -392
18   Rich DeLong III 4 105 -400
19   Cassie Gannis 3 86 -419
20   Travis Milburn 3 83 -422
(Top Twenty)

Deegan has won multiple championships in off-road racing, where she began her racing career at the age of 8. Her racing resume also includes competition in late models and super late models.

The Meridian race is slated to be televised on NBCSN on Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. PT.

The next event on the K&N Pro Series West schedule will be the NAPA AutoCare / Roseville Toyota 200 presented by TriCo Welding Supplies & the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at All American Speedway in Roseville, California on Oct. 13.

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