By Jerry Jordan, Editor and Seth Eggert, Associate Editor
AM Racing and Hailie Deegan had some big news for NASCAR fans Thursday morning as the duo announced a full-time partnership that puts the sport’s only full-time female driver behind the wheel of the No. 15 Xfinity Series Ford Mustang for the entire season.
Deegan has repeatedly impressed since coming into NASCAR and it was only a matter of time before she drove into the higher ranks of NASCAR’s top touring divisions. Her performance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the past three years had led to five Top-10s with two of those coming with her current team, ThorSport Racing.
The 22-year-old’s move to the Xfinity Series coincides with AM Racing’s expansion from one to two full-time cars. Joining Deegan as the primary marketing partners of the No. 15 Ford Mustang will be AirBox, Inc. and Viva Tequila Seltzer.
“I am excited about the opportunity to compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, starting next year with AM Racing,” said Deegan. “From the start, the team has been nothing but great to work with, and the vision that Wade has for the team to accomplish align with my values perfectly.
“Through the support of Ford and the AM Racing team, I feel that we will achieve great things together in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for all of us.”
In those three years in the Truck Series, Deegan scored a best career point standings finish of 17th in her rookie campaign in 2021. Each season she’s improved on the previous year, earning a milestone first top-10 at World Wide Technology Raceway in 2021 to two top-10s in 2022, and another two this season, including her first career laps led in the Truck Series.
The Temecula, Calif. native made her Xfinity Series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with SS-Greenlight Racing with Jeff Lefcourt. Deegan turned heads as she stayed on the lead lap throughout the event and scored a 13th-place finish in her first race.
“We are excited to see Hailie continuing to advance her career by running full-time with AM Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director Ford Performance Motorsports.
“Hailie works so hard on and off the track, and AM Racing will surround her with a great team to continue her development. From what we saw from Hailie in her Xfinity Series debut in Las Vegas last year, we look forward to some great results in 2024.”
In their first season as a Xfinity Series team, AM Racing has earned one top-five and nine top-10 finishes with Brett Moffitt. The team’s best finish to date, fourth, came at the rain-shortened Chicago Street Course.
“AM Racing is proud to announce the addition of Hailie to the family,” offered AM Racing team president Wade Moore. “We are excited to provide her with a home where she can grow as a cornerstone of our young program.
“It is an exciting time as we continue to strengthen our relationships within the Ford camp, AIRBOX, Viva, and our other partners respectively. There is a great deal of work to be done for all of us, but we are grateful and welcome the challenges ahead.”
Deegan has two Truck Series races remaining in 2023 with ThorSport Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.