Deegan was pulled from her truck after a wild fire that saturated the cockpit
On Saturday, the NASCAR Truck Series took to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the first race on the reconfigured 1.54-mile oval.
Watch the Hailie Deegan fire below.
Colby Howard gave a bump draft to Hailie Deegan. That bump got Deegan sideways and sent her into the side of Ross Chastain.
The contact caused a tire rub. That tire rub led to a fire.
Deegan was forced to pit under the green flag. Her left rear tire was completely on fire when the crew removed the wheel.
The safety team put the fire extinguisher to the machine and that fire repellent found its way to the cockpit, making things worse for the driver.
The driver was helped from the machine to the pit wall. She was then picked up and carried behind the wall.
Hailie Deegan detailed her experience…
Hailie Deegan comments on Atlanta Motor Speedway
“8 laps in, I came from 27th to 19-19th. We were coming through the field pretty good,” Hailie Deegan stated after exiting the infield care center.
“Then, the No. 91, I don’t even know who he is. But, he plowed into me on the backstretch and hit me really hard. I almost lost it, I saved it but it made me shoot into Ross Chastian on the inside on me and gave me a left rear flat.”
“So, we had to pit under green. I knew something was wrong because the moment we went out, I was like, ‘Something’s not right right guys.’ “
“And, my back started getting really hot. We ended up actually catching on fire. And I think it was on fire for a couple laps because my back starting getting super hot.”
Pitting due to fire
“They figured out that I was on fire, because I can’t see the truck. I’m like, ‘Screw it, I’m going to drive back. If I can get to pit road, they can pit the fire out, maybe we can keep going.’ “
“Made it to pit road, it was really on fire at that point. And there was a bunch of black smoke and stuff. They hit it with the fire extinguisher.”
“It blew out the black smoke and fire extinguisher smoke into my air hose and throughout the whole truck. I couldn’t see anything. So, I inhaled that and I started choking. I started not being able to get more air in, like suffocating.”
“I started to look for the window net, I couldn’t see anything. Like, I couldn’t get anymore air, because it was just smoky. And, JC ended up opening the window net and pulling me out.”
“It’s hard though cause you have one bad race, they cancel qualifying, you start in the back. It’s just a product of, you dig yourself in that hole, it’s hard to get out.”