Top 3 landing spots for Hailie Deegan next season

NASCAR: Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 302
Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports

Hailie Deegan entered the NASCAR Truck Series with high expectations but most of them were unfulfilled as she struggles to consistently deliver results. This does not mean that it will slow Deegan in the future.

Now let’s evaluate the best landing spots for the 21-year-old David Gilliland Racing Tricon Garagemoves to Toyota.

SS-Greenlight Racing gives Hailie Deegan a full time opportunity

NASCAR: Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 302
October 15, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Hailie Deegan (07) during Alsco Uniforms 302 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Deegan was working full time for David Gilliland Racing on the NASCAR Truck Series; However, SS-Greenlight Racing brought her on board for the Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

It was the first Xfinity Series event in Deegan. Since she is a Ford driver, David Gilliland Racing’s move to Toyota means she will not return to the organization for the 2023 season.

SS-Greenlight Racing presents a perfect opportunity for Deegan as it represents a leap into the Xfinity series. The 21-year-old driver will remain with Ford, so it must be a manufacturer-supported organization in the Xfinity and Truck Series.

Deegan has previous experience with the team, so he’s making this a positive case. However, the equipment will likely not be up to par to compete for race victories and championships.

If it’s not for SS-Greenlight Racing, there are other options that can lead to better results in seemingly more competitive gear.

Related: NASCAR Xfinity Series is set for a major driver change in 2023

NASCAR: Front Row Motorsports leases Hailie Deegan for 2023

NASCAR: Baptist Health 200 . Truck Series
October 22, 2022; Homestead, Florida, USA; Camping World Truck Series driver Zane Smith (38) races during the Baptist Health 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Front Row Motorsports is currently offering entries in the NASCAR Cup and Truck Series with Zane Smith being its Truck Series driver. However, if Ford needs a team for Deegan, that could be a good fit.

The organization can open a second truck full-time or start a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series team next season. This would be ideal because Front Row Motorsports is the only Truck Series team with a few Ford-supported Xfinity Series teams.

Stewart-Haas Racing, RSS Racing and SS-Greenlight Racing are the Ford-branded teams in the Xfinity Series. While RSS Racing would make sense as a landing site, Front Row Motorsports would allow flexibility for an Xfinity or Truck Series race.

This is likely to be more difficult to perform than RSS Racing as the organization has open rounds alongside Ryan Sieg. Cars #28 and 38 can be unlocked, not including the possibility of Kyle Sage running full time.

If starting a new Xfinity Series or entering a second Truck Series full-time is too much for Front Row Motors and RSS Racing is not an option, there is one last possibility that will be the best for Deegan’s career.

Related: NASCAR Truck Series Set for Big Driver Changes in 2023

Stewart-Haas Racing opens a second entry for Hailie Deegan

NASCAR: Xfinity Series Racing
16 July 2022; Loudoun, New Hampshire, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Riley Herbst (98) races during the Crayon 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Stewart-Haas Racing is currently entering Riley Herbst in the 98th car of the NASCAR Xfinity Series program and while it is highly likely that he will continue next season, that doesn’t mean a second entry can’t be opened.

If Deegan can bring in sponsorship or the organization can support a second car, that would be the best possible scenario. This puts the 21-year-old in race winning gear that will advance his NASCAR development.

Ultimately, Ford needs to find the best fit for Deegan to advance in her career. Returning to the NASCAR Truck Series shouldn’t be out of the question because of those past struggles.

Ford needs to invest in its young drivers because of the lack of ride in the lower ranks of NASCAR. Smith represents his best prospects, and losing Taylor Gray to Toyota has already damaged the pipeline.

Because of these factors, Ford needs to get right in what it does for every driver, including Deegan as its future in the sport, still has some questions.

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