Hailie Deegan prevails in K&N West race after last-lap contact with teammate
Hailie Deegan won her second NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race of the season Saturday night after contact with leader and teammate Derek Kraus on the last lap.
Deegan led on the overtime restart and chose the bottom lane. Kraus restarted on the inside of the second row. On the restart, Kraus got underneath Deegan in Turn 1 and took the lead. Running second on the last lap, Deegan went under Kraus in Turn 3. They made contact. Kraus spun. Deegan scored her third career series win.
Deegan explained her move afterward:
“On the restart, (Jagger Jones, who was second) I thought that was who was going to run me hard. So I picked the bottom when I was normally picking the top. I went into that corner, went in hard, so I was already kind of on the edge. I was not expecting my teammate (Kraus) 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. It was hard race, and I don’t want to run my teammate like that, but I also did not expect him to race me like that. Hard racing is hard racing. You want to race me hard, I’m going to race you hard. That was some fun racing, I’ll have to admit.”
Bill McAnally, team owner for Deegan and Kraus, told NASCAR.com after the race of the finish: “It’s bittersweet. Hailie wins the race, Derek gets spun around, they all drove hard. That’s what they’re here to do: win and develop. They’re doing a pretty good job of that.”
Kraus finished eighth and vented his frustrations on Twitter.
Kraus is the points leader. He has a five-point lead on Deegan.
You can watch this race at 6 p.m. ET Thursday (June 13) on NBCSN.
The series is back in action June 22 at Sonoma Raceway.