On Saturday night, Hailie Deegan returned to her roots in dirt racing, surpassing a group of big-name drivers.
In the second race of the new Camping World SRX Series, she trailed Tony Stewart in the second race at the Knoxville Circuit in Iowa. Deegan passed Trans-Am series champion Ernie Francis Jr. on the final lap.
Deegan is now a full-time driver for the NASCAR Truck Series, and he competed with Stewart for the lead for most of the 100-lap main event. In the 12-driver race, behind her were NASCAR champions Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte, Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves, and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip.
“I came up with a clean car, second only to Tony, can’t complain, it’s a good night,” Degan said in an Instagram post after the race.
The SRX competition ended Deegan’s busy weekend. On Friday night, she participated in the Truck Series at the Nashville Super Speedway and finished 21st. David Gilliland Racing driver ranked 17th in the standings as a rookie in 12 races. She has not entered the top five or top ten.
When she returns to Knoxville on July 9th for the annual dirt race of the Truck Series, she may break through.
Knoxville is the second of six races in the first season of the SRX (Superstar Racing Experience) series. Stewart and Ray Evernham are the co-founders of the series.