Hailie Deegan made NASCAR history Thursday night as the first woman to qualify on pole position for a NASCAR K&N West Series race. She finished runner-up to Sheldon Creed in the race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
While the historic moment is promising, the 17-year old Californian said she is encouraged but not satisfied.
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“Coming back in here everyone was like, ‘Good job, a top-five.’ And I’m like, ‘Top-five, what are you talking about?’’’ Deegan said Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Everyone is saying, ‘You finished second, highest finishing place for a girl.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I qualified on pole, this is actually back a position.’ It’s those things. First girl to qualify on pole but I don’t want to be the best girl, I want to be the best driver.
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“That’s my mentality.”
The runner-up finish was Deegan’s second of the season, equaling her showing at Douglas County (Ore.) Speedway earlier this season. She has four top-fives and nine top-10s in 11 races this season.
Holly Cain writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.