Sixth place for Deegan at the Royal Truck & Trailer 200 event
In the third round of the season at Toledo, Hailie Deegan added another Top Ten result to her 2020 ARCA Menards rookie season.
For the third time in the 2020 revised schedule, Toledo Speedway was the venue of an ARCA Menards round, the 15th out of the 20 planned races in this crazy season.
In the two previous races contested on the Ohio track, DGR Crosley's lady Hailie Deegan finished respectively eight and sixth. She entered this weekend's round sitting third in the championship standings after a brilliant performance last week in Lebanon, Missouri, where she led the event for 85 laps before an unfortunate final stage.
"We have some experience at Toledo." - she explained. "I feel like we've made a lot of good improvements on the car since we were last there, so we should have a good run there, especially based off our run at I-44 last weekend."
"I'm focused on my development and trying to learn as much as I can and get as much seat time as I can. I'm still fairly new to stock car racing, it's not what I grew up doing. Every single race I'm learning something new." - said Deegan.
The Californian lady qualified her #4 Ford Fusion in third, with Sam Mayer earning pole position and Chandler Smith in second.
What followed wasn't an action-packed race - as often has been the case for the ARCA Menards championship - but rather a competition defined by the dominance of a single driver, Sam Mayer, who went to Victory Lane for the third straight time in Toledo.
Sam Mayer topped the timesheets since the beginning of the weekend and showed his confidence with the Toledo Speedway by leading 165 laps in Saturday's Royal Truck & Trailer 200 event.
Chandler Smith was protagonist of a great start and took the leadership as soon as on lap 3, commading the race until lap 37, before Mayer's return brought him back into the lead - which he never left until the chequered flag.
The first caution of the night came out on lap 56, when Chase Cabre crashed in Turn 1, pausing a race always under Mayer's control so far.
Hailie Deegan managed a solid race from third in the initial stage before dropping to fifth at the first race break on lap 76.
On lap 87, Drew Dollar suffered a big crash that forced him to an early retirement.
After the restart , Deegan continued her run in fifth and had an interesting battle - which she won - against Michael Self, who led the championship standings coming into this round. Deegan went into the final race break in P5 with 50 laps to the chequered flag.
But it wasn't a perfect restart for the lady from Temecula, California; at the green flag, fellow DGR Crosley driver Taylor Gray moved up to fifth and defended the position until the end, despite Hailie Deegan tried to fight back. Nevretheless, her final sixth position allows her to continue the positive streak of 13 Top-Ten finishes out of the 15 rounds of her 2020 rookie season.
Micheal Self lost the points standings leadership for the first time this year, as Bret Holmes could claim a fourth place that gains him a 2-point advantage over his rival. Deegan remains third at 649, 49 points behind.
"I thought we would have had a better run here today considering it was our third race here this year." - she commented. "We struggled with drive off for most of the race. We made adjustments during the breaks to try to help it, but nothing seemed to work today. I'm ready to put this one behind us and focus on Bristol and Winchester next week."