Hailie Deegan addresses criticism after tangling with Derek Kraus in the final corner for the NASCAR Pro Series win
Earlier this year, Hailie Deegan won a NASCAR K&N Pro Series event on the dirt. That was a significant win as she became the first female driver to win in NASCAR Pro Series history.
Over the weekend, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series landed in Colorado. The 3/8-mile paved short track of Colorado National Speedway was set for bullring stock car racing.
Watch the Hailie Deegan vs Derek Kraus video below.
On the final restart, Deegan’s teammate Derek Kraus was starting behind her. Her dad, Brian Deegan came over the radio ahead of the green and said, “Derek is starting behind you so, you’re good.”
When the green flag dropped, Kraus moved to the inside. They ran three wide for the lead into turn one. Kraus couldn’t hold the bottom and doored Deegan. She was sandwiched in the middle was contact on both sides.
Deegan fell to 3rd off turn two. On the final lap, Deegan made an outside pass to take 2nd in turns one and two.
She had momentum off the high side heading into the final corner. Deegan crossed to the bottom looked to the inside of Kraus heading into turn three.
“I saw a gap and I put my nose in there,” Deegan said after the race.
Kraus moved down slightly to block the run and they made contact. They rubbed doors before the corner.
Kraus went around off the final corner of the race. Hailie Deegan went on to take the win, her second win this year.
Hailie Deegan comments on the bump and run with her teammate
“That was probably the most scrappy, hard-racing race I have been in, in my stock car career,” Hailie Deegan said via social media after the win.
“Everyone was running really hard from the beginning. We had the best car on track and I had the win in the bag.”
“The last 50 laps, we were by far the fastest. I ran my best lap time with like 25 laps to go, on used tires.”
“I had to get the win. On that restart, the No. 6, I thought that’s who was going to run me really hard. I picked the bottom when I was usually picking the top.”
“I went into that corner, went in hard and was already kind of on the edge. I was not expecting my teammate, with a broke sway bar to take a swing at me like that. I thought he was going to play cautious.”
“In the end, I told you guys last week, ‘If you take a swing at me. I’m going to take a swing at you back.’ “
“So, it was a hard race and I don’t want to run my teammate like that. But, also I did not expect him to run me like that.”
“Hard racing is hard racing. If you want to race me hard, I’m going to race you hard. But, that was some fun racing, I have to admit.”
Deegan address criticism after spinning teammate
She continued in a second video.
“I didn’t expect to take him out. I expected to door slam him. By all means, I was going to door him back. I don’t regret it. I am sorry that he spun out.”
“But this things been blowing up and people are turning on me. And I get that not everyone’s going to like me. I get that. That’s life.”
“I’m sorry to Derek. These next couple races are going to be tough ones. People are going to be taking swings at me.”
“I’m ok with that. Take all the swings you want. But, just know that I’m going to swing back. It’s going to make it hard to win a championship. But, I think we’re just going for race wins.”
Derek Kraus comments after race with Hailie Deegan
After the race, Derek Kraus kept it short. He posted the following to social meida.
“Mama always told me if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!”
Hailie Deegan vs Derek Kraus
Colorado National Speedway
Watch the video highlights from Colorado National Speedway below.