Ford Performance announced Saturday that Hailie Deegan will move full time to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021, teaming with DGR-Crosley Racing for a Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign.
Deegan, 19, just completed her first full season of ARCA Menards Series competition for DGR-Crosley. She also made her truck debut in Saturday’s Clean Harbors 200 (4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Kansas Speedway, driving the No. 17 Ford for DGR-Crosley co-owners David Gilliland and Bo LeMastus.
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“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. I have some great partners already behind me for next season. We have a few primaries still available and I hope that we can fill these up in the coming weeks. I can’t wait for Daytona 2021 to get here.”
After beginning her NASCAR career with Toyota Racing, Deegan was signed to Ford’s driver development program last December. She had scored three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West the last two seasons before moving to the main ARCA tour this year.
Ford officials indicated the automaker had “a broad scope of racing activities planned” for Deegan before the COVID-19 outbreak scattered the racing schedule for multiple series. Even with a somewhat curtailed schedule, Mark Rushbrook — the global director for Ford Performance Motorsports — expressed he was pleased with her growth as a driver.
“We are very happy with Hailie’s progress as demonstrated in her first year as a part of our Ford Performance driver development program,” Rushbrook said. “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 placed sixth in Friday’s season finale for the ARCA Menards Series, capping her third-place finish in the 2020 standings. She had four top-five finishes and 17 top 10s in 20 starts this season with a best result of second place on two occasions — once in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and earlier this month on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.