Hailie Deegan earned her nickname the “Dirt Princess” and drove through the field to make an incredible last lap pass to win the Star Nursery 100 Thursday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
Deegan struggled to make ground throughout the early stages of the race. After some adjustments, she clearly was the car to beat.
Jagger Jones pulled away after taking the lead from Derek Kraus. However, much like the races before, lap traffic came into play and allowed Deegan to close the gap. With two laps to go, Deegan was knocking on Jones’ back door.
As the white flag waved, it was go time. Jones was being held up by lap traffic when Deegan made her move into Turn 1. Deegan cleared Jones and saw the checkered flag for the second time in her young career.
“In the end we wouldn’t have caught him if it weren’t for the lapped cars,” Deegan said.
“And they got in his way. If I was him I’d be mad. Really mad. But some people’s losses are other people’s wins and we ended up getting it done. I knew what we had to do to win. I knew it was going to come down to the last lap again and we made it happen.”
Deegan was not happy with her ill-handling race car and struggled with the style of the dirt track at Las Vegas. However, in the time from her heat race and the 100 lap main race, she studied and made adjustments to better fit her driving style.
“Mostly just me working on my lines,” Deegan said. “The line I was trying to run didn’t work for my car, so I had to move around and find which line worked. Once we found that, fixed the car, the car was great. The track was still icy, and we still weren’t good, but it was better than everyone else.”
Deegan seems to find herself in exciting finishes, having both of her wins come on last lap passes. You can catch the next K&N Pro Series West race at Irwindale Speedway on March 30, 2019.
NASCAR Media Group