Hailie Deegan: ‘I see why a lot of these other girls haven’t made it’ in NASCAR

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Aggression has been the hallmark of Hailie Deegan’s three victories in the K&N Series.

Deegan believes it’s also crucial to any female driver’s NASCAR success.

“A lot of people assume about being a girl that they’re a little more laid back, they’re not as aggressive. They’re still trying to get to the same level of a guys’ aggression,” Deegan told NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen in the latest episode of the “On Her Turf” podcast. “But I think even if you ask other guys, they’ll say I’m an aggressive driver just because I know what it’s going to take to make it. And I see why a lot of these other girls haven’t made it, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes.

“I just want to make sure I do everything right. Because it’s going to take every piece. There’s a reason why there isn’t a ton of girls racing NASCAR. It’s not like there’s no reason why. There’s obviously a reason why. So I just have to do everything right to make sure that I can make it to the top level.”

That’s meant a fitness program of distance running and weights for the Temecula, California, resident, who has won by making contact on last-lap passes at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway last year and Las Vegas and Colorado National Speedway this season.

There have been some Southern California mornings of 100-degree heat when Deegan said she wakes up thinking, “Oh God, I don’t want to run several miles,” but she pushes through because of her goal to become a winner in NASCAR’s top series.

“I think you have to have your priorities straight,” she said. “Are you focusing on looking good at the track or performing at the track? There’s a difference.

“You have to have every single priority straight. Are you there during the week to train? Or there to hang out with friends? There are so many pieces to the puzzle, and you have to be an aggressive personality. There are quite a few girls that just don’t have the aggression in their personality.”

Some of her aggression is innate as the daughter of freestyle motocross star Brian Deegan, who has “broken almost every bone in his body.

“I feel like I grew up in a very aggressive family, and my dad being from the motocross industry,” Hailie Deegan said. “It’s an aggressive, very tough sport. So that’s where I learned it from him. A lot of other girls don’t have their dads in racing, especially since I came from that motocross scene, it’s a lot more rough and tough. That’s how I was built up.”

She also learned to avoid bonding too much with other drivers.

“You don’t have any friends when you’re on the track,” said Deegan, who turns 18 next month. “Racing is competitive. They’re like frenemies. Everyone is there for a position to make it in the top series. You’re all competing for those positions, and it’s not like everyone will get one.”

During the podcast, Deegan also discusses:

–Having the support of Kevin Harvick;

–The best piece of advice she’s received;

–If anything scares her about racing;

–How she approaches social media;

–What she packs on the road.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the embed above, at the NBC Sports Scores app or by downloading on major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play.

Updated entry lists for Kansas Speedway’s playoff weekend

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The NASCAR playoffs continue this weekend with the second visit of the year to Kansas Speedway.

The Cup Series holds its second elimination race as the playoff field will be cut to eight drivers.

After a week off, the Xfinity Series will open its second playoff round.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for both races.

Cup – Hollywood Casino 400 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

There are 40 cars entered.

Parker Kligerman is entered in Gaunt Brothers Racing’s No. 96 Toyota.

Reed Sorenson is listed for Premium Motorsports’ No. 27 Chevrolet.

Austin Theriault  was originally entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 car. Theriault announced Thursday morning he had not been cleared by NASCAR to compete Saturday following his wreck in Monday’s Cup race at Talladega and that Garrett Smithley would take his place.

Chase Elliott won this race last year over Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. Brad Keselowski won the May race over Alex Bowman and Erik Jones.

Click here for the updated entry list.

Xfinity – Kansas Lottery 300 (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC)

There are 39 entries.

Ryan Truex is entered in JR Motorsports’ No. 8 Chevrolet.

Ross Chastain is entered in Kaulig Racing’s No. 10 Chevrolet. It’ll be his fifth start with the team this season.

Harrison Burton is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota for the seventh time this season.

Bobby Earnhardt, the oldest son of Kerry Earnhardt, is entered in MBM Motorsports’ No. 66 Toyota. It will be his fifth career start and first since the Texas playoff race last year.

Joe Nemechek is now entered in Mike Harmon Racing’s No. 74 Chevrolet

Dillon Bassett is now entered in DGM Racing’s No. 92 Chevrolet

John Hunter Nemechek won this race last year over Daniel Hemric and Elliott Sadler.

Click here for the entry list.

 

Harrison Burton to drive Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Xfinity car full-time next year

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Harrison Burton will drive Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Xfinity car full-time in 2020, the team announced Thursday morning.

Burton, the son of NBC Sports analysts Jeff Burton, will succeed Christopher Bell in the No. 20.

Burton competes full-time in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He is set to make his seventh start in JGR’s No. 18 Xfinity car this Saturday at Kansas Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

“Next year is going to be a really cool opportunity for me because I grew up watching my dad race in the Xfinity Series, Burton said in a press release. “Making my first start at Bristol this year was really surreal. I remember being a little kid and watching (Jeff Burton) race there and now, I will have the opportunity to compete for the Xfinity Series championship next year.

“On top of that I’ve got Dex Imaging continuing their support of me for a majority of races next season. That’s really cool because I’ve had them as a sponsor since I was 13 and to bring them from pro-late models all the way to the Xfinity Series is pretty wild. I want to finish this season strong, but I’m excited to get 2020 started. My time with JGR this season will really help me because I’ve already gotten to know so many people there and it’s such a great team and organization. They have a long history of helping to develop drivers and this is big for the next step in my career.”

In his six Xfinity starts, Burton has three top 10s and a best finish of fourth at Iowa Speedway.

In 35 Truck Series starts since 2016, Burton has 11 top fives and 17 top-10 finishes. This year he has seven top fives and 10 top 10s. He and teammate Todd Gilliland both failed to make the playoffs.

“As Harrison (Burton) moves up to the next level of his career, we’re happy to have him join JGR fulltime and go behind the wheel of the No. 20 Supra,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Development for Joe Gibbs Racing in a press release. “Harrison has continued to show progress this season in his limited starts and I know that will only continue to develop with more seat time while contending for the Xfinity Series championship.”

The crew chief for the No. 20 will be announced at a later time.

 

JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47 hauler experiences fire on way to Kansas

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JTG Daugherty Racing announced on social media Thursday morning that the hauler for Ryan Preece‘s No. 47 Chevrolet experienced a fire on its way to Kansas Speedway for this weekend’s Cup race.

In a statement, team owner Tad Geschickter said both its hauler drivers were “okay.”

He said the team is “assessing the damage to our trailer and race cars and will have more information as it becomes available.”

More: Kaulig Racing hauler involved in accident on way to Kansas

Schedule for Kansas Speedway’s playoff weekend

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Cup and Xfinity Series teams head to the Midwest this weekend to compete at Kansas Speedway.

The Cup Series will hold its second playoff elimination race, which will cut the playoff field to eight drivers.

The Xfinity Series opens its second playoff round

For Saturday, wundergound.com forecasts a high of 66 degrees, sunny skies and a 15% chance of rain for the start of the Xfinity Series race.

On Sunday, it forecasts a high of 67 degrees, partly sunny skies and a 15% chance of rain for the start of the Cup race.

Here is the full weekend schedule with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Friday, Oct. 18

Noon – 11 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

1 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

3:05 – 3:55 p.m.  – Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

4:05 – 4:55 – Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

5:05 – 5:55 – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

7:05-7:55 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

Saturday, Oct. 19

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Cup garage open

10 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

12:05 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (NBC Sports App)

1:15 p.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

1:35 p.m. – Cup qualifying; single car/one lap (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

2:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

3 p.m. – Kansas Lottery 300; 200 laps/300 miles (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, Oct. 20

10:30 a.m. – Cup garage opens

12:30 p.m. – Driver crew chief meeting

1:50 p.m. – Driver introductions

2:30 pm. – Hollywood Casino 400; 267 lap/400.5 miles (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)