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Hailie Deegan apologizes for comment during online race

Hailie Deegan apologizes

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 06: Hailie Deegan stands on the grid at Phoenix Raceway on March 06, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Hailie Deegan, the 19-year-old Ford development driver in the Camping World Truck Series, apologized Sunday night for using the R-word during a livestream of an iRacing event.

Video of Deegan uttering the pejorative was posted on social media Sunday night.

Deegan, the most celebrated female driver in the NASCAR ranks, issued an apology on social media.

“Earlier tonight I used an insensitive word during an online race being broadcast on twitch,” Deegan stated. “It was inappropriate slang and a stupid thing to do. I apologize to everyone who was offended by it. There’s no excuse for it, and I know I have to do better for my sponsors and my fans.”

Ford issued a statement Monday: “We are aware of this inappropriate comment. Hailie immediately acknowledged this mistake, has apologized and promised to be much more thoughtful in the future.”

This is the second time in the last year that a NASCAR driver has apologized for a comment made on a live mic during an iRacing event.
Deegan begins her rookie season in the Camping World Truck Series next month at Daytona International Speedway.

She is in her second year as a Ford development driver. She competed in the ARCA Series last season. Her runner-up finish last year at Daytona in her series debut tied for the best result by a female driver in that series. Deegan made her Truck debut last October, finishing 16th at Kansas Speedway. That set a record for highest finish by a female driver in her Truck Series debut.

Previously, she had been a development driver for Toyota. She was the first female to win an ARCA West race when she did so in 2018.