Fourth top-10 finish out of 4 rounds for Deegan in the ARCA Menards 2020
Hailie Deegan extended her positive streak in Pocono at the #ANYWHEREISPOSSIBLE ARCA Menards event.
Few days after its return to the racetrack at the Talladega oval, the ARCA Menards series provided its fans with a highly spectacular round with the #ANYWHEREISPOSSIBLE 200 Pocono event.
Californian star Hailie Deegan entered the race having finished within the top-ten in all her previous appearances in her rookie ARCA Menards full season so far, with the aim of keeping momentum and continuing the positive results' streak that currently placed her in third position in the championship standings.
"Pocono is a fun track. It's really hard to get your car set up and good for every single corner."- said Hailie before the race weekend.
"I think going there with DGR-Crosley, with all the guys working hard here, that I'm going to come with a good set-up. I've been on the simulator a lot and getting a lot of practice. I've been trying a lot of different stuff seeing what I'm comfortable with and seeing what we want to baseline with since we're not getting much time on the track. It's going to be fun." - added the talented 18-year old lady.
The #4 Ford DGR Crosley driver saw the green flag from the fourth row, after the qualyfing session had put Micheal Self on pole.
The polesitter had a good reaction at the start, which allowed him to retain the lead, followed by Ty Gibbs - who will be the big protagonist of the night. Meanwhile, Hailie Deegan fought against teammate Tanner Gray for P6, before the first caution of the night was called out on lap 3 when Thad Moffith's #46 Ford stopped in a cloud of smoke, forcing him to retire.
An action-packed restart on lap 9 saw an amazing side-by-side battle for the lead between Micheal Self and Ty Gibbs: both were passed by Chandler Smith, who took advantage from the situation and completed an outstanding double pass move.
Deegan dropped to P7 after a long fight with Sam Mayer and Talladega's previous round winner Drew Dollar.
The new race leader Chandler Smith seemed able to earn a small gap to the rest of the group before he suffered an sudden power loss, allowing Ty Gibbs and Micheal Self to rejoin the first two positions.
It was a difficult moment of the race also for Hailie Deegan, who was overtaken by Derek Griffith in its bizzarre yellow Lollipops liveried car, and by Tanner Gray. She dropped to P9 right before the first pit stop caution of the race on lap 22.
Micheal Self rejoined in the lead at the restart and Deegan overtook Derek Griffith for eighth with a good reaction move.
The #25 Toyota's driver command did not last long though: a charging Ty Gibbs started to put pressure on his competitor and ultimately made a great pass to retake the leadership.
Deegan started to attack Tanner Gray, as the #15 Ford driver was initially able to defend his position. It was only a few laps later that, after a fantastic side-by-side action, he had to surrender the position to the Californian's rookie.
In the meantime, Ty Gibbs extended his gap to the rest of the group. But his run was halted again on lap 39, when Tanner Gray hit the wall and cut the #17 Ford Performance tire.
More highly spectacular action unfolded with the 43th lap restart.
Ty Gibbs had a good sprint, as the whole top-six behind him were involved in a close battle that also included Deegan on the inside line. She was soon able to move up to fifth and Micheal Self lost second place to Chandler Smith.
Hailie Deegan gained momentum and made up position after position before getting close to Mayer's fourth place. Her charge was then stopped by the last pit stop caution of the race on lap 50.
Just a few seconds after having passed the restart line, the race was stopped again when Jason Kitzmiller spun at the bottom of the field.
In the following restart, Sam Mayer moved up to second and started a close battle with Chandler Smith. After some very entartaining laps, the #21 Chevrolet's driver made the decisive move with 12 to go.
Front runner Ty Gibbs signed off and extended his dominant lead to over three seconds.
In the remaining ten laps, the fight for P4 between Micheal Self and Bret Holmes kept the race alive, with the latter finally overtaking Self.
Micheal Self defend himself from Drew Dollar's return right until the chequered flag and finished fifth confirming his championship standings lead with 129 points.
Hailie Deegan crossed the line in sixth and added another precious top-ten finish to her streak. She sits third in the genaral standings with only a 13 points gap to the leader and 3 points behind second placed Drew Dollar.
Ty Gibbs took home the victory with a strong performance at the Pocono oval track. He was followed by Chandler Smith in second and Sam Mayer in third.
The Indianapolis Lucas Oil Raceway will be the venue hosting the next ARCA Menards round on Friday July 3.