Larry McReynolds Says Hailie Deegan “Has Got To Step It Up” As She Moves To ThorSport In NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Larry McReynolds, America's Crew Chief, did not sugarcoat his thoughts about Hailie Deegan as she enters her third season in the NASCAR Truck Series and her first with ThorSport.
Larry McReynolds, America’s Crew Chief, did not sugarcoat his thoughts about Hailie Deegan as she enters her third season in the NASCAR Truck Series and her first with ThorSport.
During a recent episode of his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, McReynolds discussed Deegan’s recent announcement that she was joining ThorSport Racing after two seasons at David Gilliland Racing.
McReynolds’ comments also come after Deegan had an extremely mediocre second season in the Truck Series finishing 21st in points. She finished behind Ryan Preece, who finished in 18th and only started 10 races as well as Parker Kligerman who finished 19th while only starting in 12 races. Deegan started in all 23 of the Truck Series races.
She even failed to best her teammate Tanner Gray, who finished in 15th.
McReynolds stated, “I say this with the utmost respect because it’s beneficial for everybody involved for Hailie Deegan to perform. I mean she is a female. She is a minority, driving a NASCAR Camping World, or what’s now Craftsman Truck Series truck. It’s so beneficial that she performs.”
He continued, “But to me, this is a year where the rubber’s going to meet the road. She has basically 46 starts, Danielle. She made that one start in 2020 at Kansas, and she bounced out there, never been in a truck before, back in an era of COVID where you lined them up, and you raced them. And she finished 16th. I felt like she overachieved because they actually ran her out of gas that day.”
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“But since then, she ran 22 races in ’21, 23 races in ’22, and has three top-10 finishes. A best finish of 6th at Talladega this past fall,” McReynolds pointed out.
“And nobody knows this better than Hailie,” he asserted. “She has got to step it up. Because I even go back to last year at David Gilliland Racing. That 17 truck was running up front hands over fist. Winning races. To me, a third season, the rubber’s meeting the road.”
“I don’t care how many YouTube followers you have or social media. That’s all grand. That’s all great. Gonna have to start performing on that thing called a race track,” he concluded.
What do you make of McReynolds’ comments? Do you think this is the season where Deegan has to perform or she will be on the outside looking in?