Hailie Deegan "super excited" to begin ARCA schedule

Jim Utter

, the 17 year-old daughter of legendary X Games motocross driver Brian Deegan, will make her first start in the ARCA Series, competing at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.

Hailie will drive the No. 55 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports with series veteran Frank Kimmel serving as her crew chief. The race is one of six ARCA starts planned this season in addition to her NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedule.

“I’m super excited for this opportunity especially coming to a short track for my first ARCA race,” Deegan said. “I think this first race is all about finding out where I stack up against the field and find out where I’m at compared to everyone else. 

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“Once we get a baseline I think we’ll definitely start to work up from there and get better finishes.”

with her victory at Meridian Speedway in Idaho. The only other woman to win in a NASCAR series was Shawna Robinson, who earned three wins in the now-defunct Dash Series, most recently in 1989.

Earlier this season, Deegan added another West victory with her victory at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

One step at a time

Hailie began her driving career at the age of 8 racing dirt on four wheels. She's the only female driver in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Pro series as well as Regional series to win championships in 2013, 2015 and 2016 along with being the only youth ever to win the Lucas Oil Off-Road Pro Series Driver of the Year award (2016).

While Hailee is determined to climb the ladder in NASCAR, she remains adamant at focusing on one step at a time.

“First things first, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m coming here to learn a lot and do as much as I can and get some good results,” she said. “For now, my goal is to learn as much as I can and shoot for top-five finishes.”

After Toledo, Deegan will compete in ARCA events at Pocono Raceway (May 31), Madison International Speedway (June 14), Elko Speedway (July 13), Lucas Oil Raceway (Oct. 5) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 18). She is currently ranked fourth in the Pro Series West season standings.

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