31 May Hailie Deegan Drives iK9 Toyota to 7th Place Finish in First Super Speedway Race
LONG POND, PA – In her first ever Super Speedway race, Hailie Deegan in the No. 55 iK9 Toyota Camry came home with a 7th place finish in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway Friday evening.
After staring 4th in the race, Deegan got three wide at the top of the track and lost some ground pushing her back to 8th as the field made their way across the start-finish line for the first lap.
“On the start I got freight-trained. As soon as I got three-wide, it was the sketchiest thing on the top.” explained Deegan.
After four laps around the track, Deegan had a solid handle on the iK9 machine, pulling up into 7th. Despite her having a handle on the car, leader Riley Herbst, in the No. 18 machine, was lapping nearly the entire field. He caught up to Deegan on lap 27, making the pass to put her one lap down. Then two laps later the caution came out and Deegan was given the lucky dog to put her back on the lead lap.
However, as she pulled her No. 55 iK9 machine out of the pit’s, the team realized that no fuel went into the car due to an issue with the fuel can injector head on the stop. This forced Deegan to pull back into the pits as the field went back to green on lap 32. This resulted in her dropping back to 8th, however, she was able to maintain her spot on the lead lap until lap 41 as Herbst made the pass to put her back down a lap.
With 35 laps to go, there were only six cars left on the lead lap. Deegan was in 7th in prime position to catch the lucky dog if another caution came out. However, that caution never came and Deegan went back in to pit with 20 laps to go, getting two left side tires and one can of fuel.
She came out of the pits in the 9th position, sitting two laps down after getting up to speed with 18 to go. Then with 12 laps left, the leader Herbst came into the pits. This allowed Deegan to reclaim one of her laps back as she climbed up into 6th place.
With six laps to go, Deegan dropped back to 7th. Then three laps later, a hard charging Ty Majeski, who had taken the lead from Herbst with just five laps previous, passed Deegan to put her two laps down again.
Deegan held strong in her No. 55 iK9 machine in the 7th position during the last six laps. At the end of the race there were just four cars left on the lead lap. It was a solid finish for her 2nd career ARCA race and first ever track on a Super Speedway, taking away a lot of knowledge for when she returns to the track.
“I’d say the biggest thing is now that I can see the whole air thing, getting around people, I can be more aggressive now that I have gotten more laps and experience.” said Deegan post-race, “80 laps is a long time here, so I think feeling it all out and then next race we can come out here more aggressive.”
Next up for Deegan will be action in the K&N West Series at Colorado National Speedway in the NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Saturday June 8th. She will look to regain the points lead, of which she sits 4th overall, trailing the leader Derek Kraus by 23 points.