On the heels of DGR-Crosley announcing its new alliance with the Blue Oval, Ford Performance welcomed Hailie Deegan to its driver development program.
Deegan, 18, will race for Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the ARCA Menards Series in the No. 4 Ford Fusion for DGR. She will also pilot the Mustang GT4 with Multimatic Motorsports in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
“Hailie has shown in her brief time behind the wheel of a stock car that she’s got what it takes to be successful,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Our goal is to put her on a path to realize our shared goal of winning championships and part of that is gaining experience on tracks such as road courses and superspeedways.
“We feel this year will serve as a good foundation for what lies ahead.”
The second-generation racer from Temecula, Calif., became the first female to win in what was previously the K&N Pro Series West tour in her rookie season at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway. In 2019, Deegan scored two wins, three poles, eight top fives and 11 top 10s in 14 starts. She finished third in the NKNPSW standings.
“I could not be more excited to join Ford Performance and DGR-Crosley,” said Deegan. “It became clear quickly that I align with the Ford Performance vision of driver development and our shared drive to win.
“It is also extra special to get to race with Ford, a family company, that already had ties to my family. Growing up watching my dad race a Ford, and now to be able to do the same thing is very cool.”
Deegan’s father Brian raced a Ford Fiesta in the Global Rallycross Championship. He won a gold medal in the 2011 X Games Rallycross events. The elder Deegan has also competed in a Ford Raptor in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series.
Deegan made six starts in the ARCA Menard’s Series in 2019 with a personal best result of fifth at Lucas Oil Raceway. She also posted top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway, Elko (Minn.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway. She’ll celebrate her DGR-Crosley coming-out party in the ARCA Menard’s season opener on Feb. 8 at Daytona International Speedway.
"Today is a huge day for our organization," team co-owner David Gilliland said. "It's been really impressive to see what Hailie has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.
“With her joining our Ford Performance driver development program at DGR-Crosley, the potential for success is endless. I'm super excited to get the 2020 season started.”
DGR is scheduled to finalize its ARCA Menard's and Gander Outdoors Truck Series lineups later this week. Todd Gilliland and Tanner Gray are expected to pilot the trucks while Deegan and Tyler Gray, Tanner's younger brother, will race the Ford Fusions in ARCA.
Deegan makes her Ford Mustang debut with IMSA starting with the Roar Before the 24 test session at Daytona on Jan. 24th. She will team with Chase Briscoe.
“We are very excited to have Hailie join the Ford Performance Team,” said Rob Johnston, global marketing manager, Ford Performance. “She is a rising star in motorsports with a new and already large fan base that we are looking forward to engaging with through her talent and personality.”