Hailie Deegan’s recent interview shows that gender bias is still at large in the NASCAR industry.
The 21-year-old driver has been rising in the ranks of the NASCAR series and she currently competes in the Truck Series, driving the No. 13 Ford for ThorSport Racing. She won the Most Popular Driver award in the series for 2021 and 2022.
Additionally, she also made her Xfinity debut in 2022, driving the No. 07 car for SS-Green Light Racing. While she has been climbing up the ladder, she feels that she is not given the same trust and support that a male driver would have received.
Recently appearing in the UNLEASHED with The Dingo and Danny podcast, Deegan spoke about the bias that is still persistent in NASCAR.
“It’s different. It’s very, very different. There are things that I’m starting to see now where I get treated differently as a girl. Even with crew guys, I feel like sometimes it’s hard to get them to believe in me. And that has been a big struggle.”
Deegan also said that she realized this discrimination when she switched from dirt racing to stock car racing back in 2016.
“I never looked at myself differently. I thought I was just a girl that raced, whatever. That was a big change for me going into the stock car world.”
Despite the bias, Deegan keeps going. In addition to the Truck Series, she will also take part in SRX series in 2023.