Rising teen NASCAR star Hailie Deegan is brushing off criticism after she bumped her teammate Derek Krause in the last turn of the K&N Pro Series West Race in Colorado on Saturday to take her second win of the season.
Deegan, who led 66 of 155 laps, had just moved into second place and was going for the inside line when Kraus had the same idea and the two came in contact, which caused Kraus’ car to spin.
The 17-year-old Deegan posted a video to Twitter afterward in which she said it was the “most scrappy, hard racing race” she’d ever been in.
“I went into that corner, went in hard and was already kind of on the edge. I was not expecting my teammate, with a broke sway bar to take a swing at me like that. I thought he was going to play cautious,” Deegan said.
Race stewards reviewed the incident and declared Deegan the winner.
Kraus, who is also 17, Tweeted out a video of the finish with the caption “Mama always told me if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!”
Deegan became the first female to win a race in the series last year when she made a similar move on her former teammate Cole Rouse in Idaho.
Deegan added "I don’t regret it. I am sorry that he [Kraus] spun out. Bt this thing's been blowing up and people are turning on me. And I get that not everyone’s going to like me. I get that. That’s life,” RacingNews.co reported.
“I’m sorry to Derek. These next couple races are going to be tough ones. People are going to be taking swings at me. I’m ok with that. Take all the swings you want. But, just know that I’m going to swing back. It’s going to make it hard to win a championship. But, I think we’re just going for race wins.”
After five races, Kraus leads the series with 216 points ahead of Deegan in second place with 204.