NASCAR's next big-name female driver, Hailie Deegan, is moving up in the ranks. Ford Performance announced Saturday that Deegan will move full time to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2021 to drive for DGR-Crosley Racing.
The announcement comes on the same day Deegan made her first career start in trucks at Kansas. The 19-year-old recently completed her first full season in the ARCA Menards Series, where she finished third in the standings. In her young career, Deegan has three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West and was the first woman to win pole and a race at the K&N Pro Series level.
"I am excited for this next step in my career with Ford Performance," Deegan said in a release. "I have raced trucks in the off-road world but to now have the opportunity to race trucks next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a dream come true."
Deegan is the daughter of X Games legend Brian Deegan and is widely expected amongst NASCAR circles to be racing in the Cup Series within a few years. Andrew Murstein, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, went as far as referencing Deegan by name in an interview with Forbes, saying she was a candidate for the No. 43 in the future.
When the day comes that Deegan does make it to the Cup Series, she will be following in the footsteps of Danica Patrick, who retired after the 2018 Daytona 500. Patrick paved the way for drivers like Deegan, becoming the first woman to clinch a pole position in the Cup Series in addition to being the female leader in starts, laps led and top-tens at the highest level.
Deegan will kick off her 2021 Truck Series Rookie of the Year campaign at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2021.