Toyota driver Hailie Deegan continues to make history, becoming the first female racer to win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West on Saturday night. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) made their debut at NASCAR’s newest event this weekend – the road course ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Camry drivers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. closed the Round of 16 at the ROVAL by advancing to the second round of the 2018 MENCS Playoffs following Sunday’s event in North Carolina. Truex looked to capture the victory at the new 17-turn road course, leading five laps (of 109) before being involved in an incident on the last turn of the last lap, which relegated Truex to a 14th-place finish.
“It was crazy. We at one point got spun by the 2 (Brad Keselowski) in the same corner and had to go to the rear – thought we were done,” Truex said. “We restarted 27th and drove out way up through there. You never knew what was going to happen today – on the one restart the 2 drove straight into the wall. Just trying to survive and we were in the right spot, we did everything right and we got spun out twice and there’s nothing you can do about guys running you over.”
In Saturday’s NXS event at the Charlotte road course, Ryan Preece (fourth) and Christopher Bell (fifth) both secured top-five finishes to lead Toyota in the series’ fourth and final road course of the season. Bell led five laps (of 55) and earned the second stage win of the race, which was won by Chase Briscoe.
“We had one goal coming into here and that was either to win stages or win the race,” Bell said. “Our bed was kind of made there in the second stage whenever we decided to stay out and win the stage. We got our stage point, which will help us in the next round. We didn’t win the race, but that’s okay.”
Bell continues to lead the NXS point standings and has clinched a spot in the second round following a victory at Richmond Raceway in September.
Seventeen-year-old Hailie Deegan captured her first K&N Pro Series victory at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway on Saturday night. In addition to becoming the first female racer to accomplish the feat, Deegan also became the first female driver to win a NASCAR race in almost 30 years.
Deegan made a last-lap pass over teammate and fellow Toyota driver Cole Rouse who finished in the runner-up position en route to her historic victory.
“This has to be the best day of my life right here,” Deegan said in Victory Lane. “It doesn’t get any better than this. People don’t understand how many days, how many hours I’ve put into this. How much work I’ve done to get to this moment. It’s just amazing … this is the happiest day of my life. We did it!”
The NKNPW takes a week off before heading to All American Speedway (Roseville, California) on Saturday, October 13.
NASCAR heads to Dover International Speedway where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series opens the secound round of the playoffs on Sunday, October 7 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East concludes the season two days prior at the short track with the race broadcast on Friday, October 11 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, while the NASCAR Xfinity Series will compete on Saturday, October 6 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NHRA continues their playoffs at Texas Motorplex where the series will compete on Sunday, October 7 at 12 p.m. ET on FS2.