Hailie Deegan is getting another go at “Thunder Valley”
Luck was not on Hailie Deegan’s side the last time the young prodigy was at Bristol Motor Speedway. Deegan’s speed was turning heads the last time she raced Bristol in the Zombie Auto 150 earlier this year. She is looking forward to another chance of what is now becoming one of her favorite tracks at “Thunder Valley” this time around in the K&N Pro Series – East on August 15.
Deegan does not rely only on faith or luck, however. It takes more than wishes to make it as far as she has. Deegan constantly trains her body and mind, always searching for new ways to improve. Recently, Deegan’s determination has paid off. The daughter of decorated X Games legend Brian Deegan is the only female driver to ever win races in the K&N Pro Series, and she has done it three times.
Deegan’s first win in the series came at the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 in 2018, the second came on the dirt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the Star Nursery 100 in February, and the third came in June at the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Colorado National Speedway after bumping her teammate, Derek Kraus, out of the way in overtime. Despite her success, Deegan is still hungry for redemption at Bristol. Deegan’s sponsor, iK9, expects this Thursday’s race to be every bit as exciting as her previous outings.
Deegan will be behind the wheel of the No. 54 iK9 Toyota Camry with teammate Erik Jones, who is coming down from Cup racing to grace the No. 81 iK9 Toyota Supra in the Xfinity race. Jones is also a young driver who has forged a name for himself, being the first to ever win Rookie of the Year in all three NASCAR national series in 2017.
With such a strong duo on the track, president of iK9 and CEO of Xtreme Concepts, Landon Ash is excited to see the results.
“We love having Hailie back in the iK9 cars, as well as Erik,” Ash said.
iK9 recently sponsored Deegan in the entry-level ARCA Series at Pocono Raceway in May, where Deegan finished seventh. The race at “The Tricky Triangle” was just one of six starts in the ARCA Menards Series in which iK9 has backed Deegan. Two final ARCA races remain on the schedule at Lucas Oil Speedway in Brownsburg, Indiana on October 5 and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on October 18.
After already seeing great things from the young star, Ash is ecstatic about the future. This weekend’s race will come just a day after Ash’s birthday, and he is hoping Deegan delivers on his only birthday wish.
“I would love to see Hailie get a win at Bristol,” Ash said. “That would be one awesome birthday present.”
As anticipation swells and expectations snowball into the weekend, the hype surrounding the race will only get louder. Fortunately for the iK9 team, Deegan has never been one to get cold feet.
The K&N Pro Series – East at Bristol Motor Speedway will air live on NBC Sports at 5:15 p.m. CT on August 15.
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