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Hailie Deegan now Ford's newest NASCAR development driver

Hailie Deegan will continue her NASCAR career as a development driver but for Ford Performance rather than Toyota, has learned.

Hailie Deegan now Ford's newest NASCAR development driver
Race winner Hailie Deegan
Hailie Deegan
Hailie Deegan
Hailie Deegan

Ford announced Deegan as its newest development driver Tuesday afternoon at its Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, N.C. She has agreed to a multi-year agreement with Ford and will continue her NASCAR learning curve competing with DGR-Crosley.

DGR-Crosley, which fields entries in late models, ARCA and the NASCAR Truck series, recently announced its own move from the Toyota to Ford camp. Ford officials confirmed the team would the cornerstone of its efforts to develop drivers for NASCAR competition.

Deegan will compete full-time in the ARCA Menards Series next season with driving the No. 4 Ford for the Gilliland-owned team. Additionally, she will run select events in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Multimatic Motorsports.

Deegan, 18, is the daughter of Brian Deegan, a motocross rider, off-road racer, and former X Games athlete.

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The pairing with Ford in some respects shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

In 2011, after a successful 17-year Motocross career, Brian Deegan signed a deal with Ford to race a Ford Fiesta in the Global RallyCross Championship and the X Games and compete in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series in a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

It was a successful pairing, as Deegan won the Pro Lite Unlimited (twice) and Pro 2 (three times) classes of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series and finished a career-high second in 2012 in Global RallyCross.

Hailie Deegan grew up racing off-road and on dirt but transitioned to competing on asphalt in 2016 to pursue a career in stock car racing. 

She began her career in NASCAR in 2018 in the K&N Pro series. She is the only female driver to have won races in the K&N series – once in 2018 and twice this past season, during which she finished a career-best third in the K&N West series standings.

Deegan also competed in six ARCA races this year with a career-best finish of fifth at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis.

Until now, Deegan’s NASCAR and ARCA competition has all come with Toyota-supported teams and the manufacturer has touted her as one of its rising NASCAR stars.

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Hailie Deegan: Move to Ford camp is "the right path for me"

Hailie Deegan: Move to Ford camp is "the right path for me"
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Drivers Hailie Deegan
Author Jim Utter