LAS VEGAS, Nev. — History has been made.
Hailie Deegan became the first female to earn a pole award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series as she laid down the quickest lap (21.329 seconds) around the half-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track on Thursday afternoon.
After being quickest in practice, the 17-year-old aptly nicknamed “Dirt Princess” laid down her history-making circuit on her eighth of 12 in the third and final group qualifying session.
“I’m so amped,” an elated Deegan said. “The dirt track, I was hoping it’d be my niche, and it just so happened to be. I’m so pumped. I’ve had some bad luck the last couple races and I feel like we’re getting out of that. Everything’s falling into place. So hopefully we can pull off the win tonight.”
Nothing but excitement from @HailieDeegan as she makes history being the first female to collect a pole award in the K&N Pro Series.
— NASCAR Home Tracks (@NASCARHomeTrack) September 13, 2018
Prior to Thursday, the best starting position for a female in K&N Pro Series history was held by Canadian Dominique Van Wieringen, who started second three times in the K&N Pro Series East in 2016. Julia Landauer started third at Meridian last season and Deegan started third at Sonoma this season in the K&N Pro Series West.
Deegan’s Bill McAnally Racing teammate Derek Kraus (21.375) was second quickest, followed by Derek Thorn (21.425), Cole Rouse (21.585) and Ryan Partridge (21.600).
Racing-Reference: QUALIFYING RESULTS
Sheldon Creed, Christopher Bell, Tim Ward, Kody Vanderwal and Trevor Huddleston completed the top 10 quickest drivers in the group session.
The lineup will be set based on the finishes from the four heat races, beginning at 6 p.m. Deegan will start first in the first heat, Kraus will start first in the second heat, Thorn will start first in the third heat and Rouse will start first in the fourth heat.
Partridge will start second in the first heat, Creed will start second in the second heat, and so on.
The green flag for the Star Nursery 100 is scheduled to fly at approximately 8 p.m.