Hailie Deegan will be the youngest driver in the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) when she takes to the track during its inaugural season this summer. According to an Instagram story from Knoxville Raceway, Deegan will enter the dirt track’s race on 19 June.
The 19-year-old Deegan is currently six races into her rookie year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. After a slow start as she finished outside the top twenty in the first four races, she is riding a two-race streak of finishing in the range with a season-best seventeenth in Saturday’s race at Richmond. Deegan is currently seventeenth in points.
On Thursday, Deegan posted an Instagram photo of her and SRX co-founder Ray Evernham posing in front of his series’ car with the caption “@srxracingofficial here we come”. Evernham confirmed her entry on Twitter by tweeting, “Yes sir , this is happening! Really excited to watch @HailieDeegan race with us! This girl can gas it up ! Dirt or pavement !”
Various races on the SRX schedule clash with the Truck Series such as the opener Stafford Motor Speedway (12 June) and Eldora Speedway (26 June) as they are on the same days as the Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway, respectively. While Knoxville is on the same weekend as the Truck date at Nashville Superspeedway, the latter will be the previous day on 18 June.
While Deegan is espcially familiar with non-pavement racing due to her off-road upbringing, the SRX start at Knoxville will provide her with some familiarity at the dirt course in a stock car. The Truck Series is scheduled to race at Knoxville for the first time on 9 July.
The SRX field has drawn some jokes due to their age, including remarks about it being a “retirement tour” or the S actually standing for Senior. Prior to Deegan’s addition, full-time driver Ernie Francis Jr. was the youngest at 23. Marco Andretti is the only other driver below the age of 40 at 34. Obviously, Deegan’s entry will drag the median down considerably.
Deegan’s entry will likely be in a multi-driver “ringer” car for big names to make cameo appearances. In addition to the ten full-time drivers, the ringer and a local track champions car will be in the field.
UPDATE: Article has been updated with Knoxville Raceway’s Instagram story.