Deegan clinches her best result of the season so far at Kansas
At the Kansas Speedway round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, stockcar rising talent Hailie Deegan claimed her best result of the season so far.
Kansas Speedway played host to the seventh round of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, with stock car rising talent Hailie Deegan making her return to the venue that marked her debut in the Truck championship last year.
Back then, Deegan was the protagonist of an outstanding performance, finishing 16th having started from 34th on the grid at the wheel of the N17 Ford F-150.
In a more challenging 2021 season, marked by the lack of track time due to the no practice and no qualifying format in the Truck series, Deegan's best finish in a Speedway was the P21 achieved at Atlanta – but her scoring table was finally boosted by a better result during last weekend's round: the Californian lady was in fact able to top her best result of the season after taking the start from the 20th place.
Just like most of the races so far this year, the Kyle Busch Motorsport duo were the drivers to beat, as the team owner (and regular Cup Series driver) Kyle Busch, and younger teammate John Hunter Nemechek led the field for the entire first stage. Only Sheldon Creed was able to temporarily challenge the KBM's leadership, but he would surrender the top spot to Kyle Busch – who won Stage 1.
Hailie Deegan had a positive start and was fifteenth in the first stage, reporting some small issues on her Ford truck. She was nevertheless able to battle elbows-out in the group and rejoined the race in P13 after the break.
There were no major changes at top in the second stage: the leading trio – Busch, Nemecheck and Creed – again managed to break away, leaving no chances to the rest of the pack to join the battle up front. Hailie Deegan continued her strong run and kept working her way up the standings: on lap 49, she reached the top ten.
The David Gilliland Racing's driver secured the one point bonus by finishing tenth in the second stage, while Kyle Busch again took a dominant victory and opened a comfortable gap to both Nemechek and Creed.
At the final stage, though, drama was just behind the corner: both the Kyle Busch Motorsport's driver had slow restarts after a caution and they dropped down, leaving the lead in the hands of Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith, who could open a significant gap from the rest of the pack.
Starting Stage 3 from P12, the lady from Temecula made her way back to the top 10 on lap 98, before making a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 102. She rejoined the track in P11, with only 15 laps to go.
Deegan was crucially able to stay away from troubles when a caution with 7 laps to go halted the action. The green flag was back waving for a green-white-chequered, but drama was not over. Another caution brought the race to overtime, which allowed Kyle Busch to conquer back the top of the classify – something that seemed lost in the final stage.
The Cup competitor took the final green flag from fourth and overtook Eckes, Hill and Ross Chastain for his second victory of the season in the NASCAR Truck Series. When the overtime was called, Deegan was running 13th and held on to that position – thus conquering her best result of the season so far.
"P13 tonight! Best finish so far this year" – she commented. "Ran in the top 10 for most of the race after starting 20th. We're getting better and better every race." - wrote Hailie Deegan on her social media feeds after the weekend.
Started P39, Kansas-native Jennifer Jo Cobb was unfortunately out due to electrical issues in her home race.
After an adaptation period, Hailie Deegan is clearly getting more comfortable by the day and her pace at the wheel of the #1 Ford F-50 Truck is improving race after race.
Deegan will try to keep momentum and further top her latest result on Friday 7th May, when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will head to Darlington for the LiftKits4Less.com 200 event.