Hailie Deegan made history on Saturday night as she became the first female driver in 64 years to win a race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. The Californian led the very last lap of the NAPA Auto Parts/Ihado 208 at Meridian Speedway.
Speaking about her win, the 17 year old said:
Oh my god. “This has to be the best day of my life right here. It doesn’t get any better than this. People don’t understand how many days, how many hours I’ve put into this. How much work I’ve done to get to this moment. It’s just amazing … this is the happiest day of my life. We did it. WOOHOO!
Deegan beat her Bill McAnally Racing team mate Cole Rouse to the win, giving the team a 1-2 and speaking about the move the win she said:
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?’”. “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.
Speaking about his second place finish, Rouse commented by saying:
We were going into Turn 1 … and she doesn’t lift and drives into me, gets me completely sideways. “We were going to win that race if it was run clean, but unfortunately it wasn’t. I’m just going to go into the next two races, not give her any slack and we’re going to win both of those. It was a good night, but I don’t really care about second, honestly.
Pole-sitter Derek Kraus commented saying:
We led 190+ laps, then a lapped car spun again,” Kraus said. “I was predicting he was going to roll down because he didn’t have his brakes on yet. But he stayed there, and I was already committed (to the top) … and I guess NASCAR ruled me third. I don’t know, I guess we’ll go onto Roseville and Kern and win them two.