FONTANA, Calif. â€“ iK9, a global leader in canine security services and training, will support TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and NASCAR Next driver Hailie Deegan in her six-race campaign in the 2019 ARCA Menards Series, specifically by serving as her primary sponsor for the May 31 General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway while being an associate sponsor at the five other ARCA races.
The 17-year-old racer from Temecula, California, will make her ARCA debut May 19 at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway in a Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports. Deegan will then race at Pocono before competing June 14 at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway, July 13 at Elko Speedway in New Market, Minnesota, Oct. 5 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. This augments Deeganâ€™s existing slate of races, which includes a full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West where she is contending for the championship, along with select Pro Series East events, which includes the April 6 Pro Series East race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway where iK9 will make its debut as her primary sponsor.
â€œWe think Hailie is an exceptional talent who has proven to be an up-and-coming leader in the racing world,â€� said Landon Ash, founder of Birmingham, Alabama-based Xtreme Concepts, the parent company of iK9. â€œMotorsports is a powerful marketing platform and this partnership with Hailie is great for the sport, but also for iK9 and Xtreme Concepts as we reinforce our commitment to NASCAR and the development of its future stars. Hailie is a strong personality who strengthens our existing lineup of Jeffrey Earnhardt, Kyle Busch and Brandon Jones. Theyâ€™re all specialized athletes who align very well with iK9, as we provide the skills and support necessary for our clients to care for their highly specialized dogs.â€�
Deegan became the first female to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race when she took the checkered flag last September at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway. She ended the season as the Pro Series West Rookie of the Year, another female first in any NASCAR regional or national series. Deegan recently added to her burgeoning legacy when she won the season-opening Pro Series West race Feb. 28 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
â€œIâ€™m grateful for this opportunity to build my NASCAR career and Iâ€™m extremely proud to represent iK9 along with Toyota, TRD, Monster Energy and Craftsman,â€� said Deegan, the only female racer to have won multiple championships in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. â€œPartnerships are key to earning these kinds of opportunities, and iK9â€™s mission appeals to who I want to be as a racer and also as a person.â€�
Deegan is the daughter of legendary X Games Motocross champion Brian Deegan, who has competed in every X Games since its inception, medaling 10 times with three golds and seven bronzes. He has also competed in in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, TORC Series, Global RallyCross Championship and even select Monster Jam events in his Metal Mulisha Monster Truck.
The younger Deegan began her racing career at age eight in the Junior Kart division of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series before advancing to Pro Trucks. She won three championships along the way â€“ the 2013 Junior 2 Kart title, the 2015 Modified Kart Regional crown and the 2016 Modified Kart National championship, the latter of which earned Deegan the 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road Driver of the Year award.
â€œHailie and her dad, Brian, embody the all-out, never-quit attitude of our personnel, who have risked life and limb for our country and are now using their skills on behalf of iK9 and Xtreme Concepts,â€� Ash said. â€œThese are the kinds of traits that resonate with our personnel and, in turn, the clients we represent.â€�