Hailie Deegan doesn’t want to call her rookie season a “lost year” in the ARCA Menards series, but as Kyle Butch is fond of saying, it’s 2020.
“I didn’t get out of everything I was planning on,” Deegan said on Wednesday before today’s race at Toledo Speedway (5pm at the trackpass).
This will be the third time this year ARCA has visited the half-mile track. Like every major form of motorsports, it is a schedule regime caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
The epidemic has thrown a gap in the development plan for the 19-year-old Ford development driver.
When Degan was announced as a Ford driver in December, his father, Brian Deegan, hoped he would be able to “dabble” in the truck series this year before going full-time in 2021. That dabbling could be contested in the annual race. Eldora Speedway.
But it is 2020.
“So far nothing is really set in stone,” Degan said. “Money is still tight. ARCA is expensive. We are still exploring it. Earlier this year I felt that we would be clear to do some truck races for our race in a wealthier and budget-wise manner, but what really happened was with the whole COVID deal and everything, everyone’s budget They were going to give extra on what I had cut.
“We had to start from class one again.”
Degan said she knew that “people have trucks but I’m struggling to find people who want to pay for them.”
Deragon, who has three ARCA Mensard West wins, is making “the best” of what he has available for this season during the race for DGR-Crosley.
“Put more time on the simulator and do a lot of work around stock car racing, not just to practice on the track,” Degan said. “I’m doing a lot more dirt circle track racing and sim time and studying the footage and getting me ready to focus on the off-track stuff because we have such a lack of practice.”
Through 14 races, Dagen has 12 top 10s and the second-best score of the season openers at Daytona. Her best non-superspeed result was third at Lucas Oil Raceway. Going into Toledo, he is third in the standings, 48 points behind Michael Self.
Two of his DNFs were at Kentucky (wreck) and Iowa (mechanical issue).
Degan said, “If I get out of the top 10, then I will be nervous for myself without doing anything.” “I just keep myself at such a high level and aim so high to fulfill myself and I know that I’m still in my years of development and stuff but still, keep an eye on me It pressures and it pressures me to be better than I am at any given moment. I just need to keep in mind that I am in the ARCA series and developing for the future. ‘
Degan said the epidemic “made it difficult, especially for a driver like me, who doesn’t have as much experience as I need to and needs more experience.”
Beginning in off-road racing, Dagen switched to stock car racing. This is just his third full-year race on the sidewalk.
“It favors drivers who have always been,” Degan said of the lack of additional track time. “They don’t impress the most. Up and coming drivers are trying to get seat time and experience. The sponsors for these races still have to spend as much to pay because if we practice and qualify Get and all this stuff. I cut short, I’m really the only one who gets short in the whole process because I’m not getting the most out of it that I need and I was planning from the beginning . ”
Although Degan believes the circumstances of this season take her racing plans back a year, she knows that she will have to “really buckle and focus” for the rest of this season.