HAILIE DEEGAN JOINS THORSPORT RACING FOR PIVOTAL NASCAR TRUCK SERIES SEASON
Any driver who finishes worse than 20th in the Truck Series for two consecutive seasons will raise doubts as to whether that driver has what it takes to make it in the NASCAR Cup Series.
These types of results do not indicate significant promise confidence in the driving probability.
That doesn't mean there isn't promise, just that it creates doubt.
For Haley Deegan, she's getting another year in the Truck Series after two disappointing seasons.
And if the 21-year-old wants to be taken seriously as a potential Cup driver, he will have to prove it this year.
She would change teams as Thorsport Racing would change manufacturers from Toyota to Ford,
filling the role of David Gilliland Racing, which had switched from Ford to Toyota.
While DGR was still a growing organization—it won races in 2022 with Ryan Preece and Todd Gilliland
—Thorsport is an organization that typically fields most of its drivers in the playoffs.
Its drivers lead the way, as they won three races last year and all four drivers made the postseason.
So if Deegan, who finishes averaging 20.9 in 2021 and 22.1 in 2022, is 20th in a row this year, it likely can't be cited as weak equipment.
She can't use lack of practice as a reason as she has now raced in a truck at least twice on most tracks.
Now is the time to show whether Deegan - who has won the series' Most Popular Driver award each of the past two years - has "it" and the ability to succeed in NASCAR.
"I believe in myself," Deegan said. "I think I have it, and I think we were probably missing some pieces of the puzzle because there are so many pieces to the puzzle.
“You reach a point in your development where you have to take the next step, and I think Thorsport is a very established
team and a very established path to success. … They are such a good, consistent team. I think it's going to be a good year for me."
After two seasons of Trucks many thought, the next step for Deegan would be the Xfinity series.
Entering trucks two years earlier, he won races in the ARCA West Series and finished third in the ARCA National Series standings.
Two years should have been enough for her to show what she could do. But she struggled, sometimes living
off the pace of the top trucks and sometimes stuck in the middle of the pack, where bad things can happen.