Hailie Deegan, the only female member of the current NASCAR Next class and daughter of X-Games athlete Brian Deegan, will compete in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West this season for Bill McAnally Racing, the team announced Wednesday.
Deegan, 16, earned the ride after taking part in a series of test sessions with the team and Toyota late in 2017.
Deegan will drive the No. 19 Mobil 1 / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota and joins teammates Cole Rouse and the returning Derek Kraus.
Todd Gilliland, who won the last two K&N West titles for the team, will compete in the Camping World Truck Series.
Deegan is the only announced female driver for the series this year after two, Julia Landauer and Nicole Behar, competed in it last year. They finished the season seventh and eighth.
The native of Temecula, California, also will race in select K&N East events.
“I’m really excited,” Deegan said in a press release. “This is the best team and equipment in the series. BMR has been great to work with. I look forward to racing at a high level on the East and West Coasts with the top team. We are ready to put in the work to continue being a serious competitor.
“It will be exciting to be part of the K&N Series. It’s been a great building ground for a lot of successful NASCAR drivers. It’s a big step.”
On her Twitter profile, Deegan declares, “I want to follow in the footsteps of my Dad.”
Brian Deegan has won the most Freestyle Motocross medals in X Games history with 10. He has multiple championships in the Lucas Oil Pro 2 and Lucas Oil Pro Lite series.
Hailie Deegan began off-road racing when she was 8 and became the first female to win a race and a championship in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series.
In 2015, she was the Modified Kart Regional Champion and the next year was the Modified Kart National Champion as well as the Driver of the Year. In 2017, she was the first female in the Pro Lite division of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series to have multiple podiums in her rookie year.
Deegan took part in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity combine in 2016 and won the 2017 NASCAR Diversity Young Racer award.
She will seek to become the first woman to win a K&N title and a major NASCAR championship. If she does, it would give Bill McAnally Racing its fourth consecutive K&N West title and ninth overall.
“She’s a very talented driver, who brings with her a lot of energy and excitement,” McAnally said in a press release. “We look forward to being a big part of Hailie’s development as she takes this next step in her racing career. We anticipate great things ahead for everybody, including our partners and fans.”