Friday, 19 August 2022

Hailie Deegan scores first career Truck series top-10; Sheldon Creed wins, advances in playoffs Featured

Posted On Saturday, 21 August 2021 16:10 Written by
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Hailie Deegan on Friday night became the fourth female competitor to score a top-10 in the Truck series, and the first at a non-superspeedway track. Hailie Deegan on Friday night became the fourth female competitor to score a top-10 in the Truck series, and the first at a non-superspeedway track. Courtesy of David Gilliland Racing/via Twitter

It was an eventful Friday night at Gateway for the start of the Truck Series playoffs, including an extended power outage that caused a long red flag, but in the end Sheldon Creed won yet again at arguably his best track, and advanced in the playoffs.

Also of note, rookie Hailie Deegan, 20, who is not a playoff contender, scored the first Truck Series top-10 of her career.

Deegan became the fourth female competitor in the series to achieve a top-10, but was the first to do it at a non-superspeedway track. Previously, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Angela Ruch and Natalie Decker have achieved this feat in superspeedway competition.

Deegan dodged multiple wrecks to achieve her 7th place finish, and said she that after a rough year, she is hoping to continue with strong performances and positive momentum to wrap up 2021.

Several of the Truck Series playoff drivers had strong finishes on Friday evening to get the postseason off to a strong start. 

Matt Crafton, a three-time champion in the series, finished second at Gateway.

“They knew we were here. We drove from 10th to get to second. We just needed a little bit more to catch the 2 (Sheldon Creed).”

His Thorsport teammate Ben Rhodes finished 3rd, despite some challenges with the truck.

“We have a few issues going on with our truck in the front end, but we know what we were fighting,” Rhodes said. “We will go back home and make it better, but overall, I’m happy with my Bombardier Tundra. It was fast from the get-go. They made good improvements on it, so that I could hang with them at the end of the race. I have to say Matt Crafton was driving me hard. That was the hardest I’ve driven in a while. I had my tongue hanging out for like the last 100 laps.” 

A driver who moved up in the playoff standings significantly due to his fourth-place Gateway performance was Stewart Friesen. 

Good start for us in the Playoffs. I knew we would be good but I just got a little tight there in the last run. We got up there quick in the first stage and then kind of just leveled out in third or fourth. I wish I would have gotten a better restart at the start of that last stage. I’m proud of my guys. Thanks to everyone at Halmar, Chris Larsen. Great owner and great friend. Proud of everything we’ve done here over the last two years, and we are going to keep it rolling and try to get a win here.”

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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