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Hailie Deegan draws Ricky Brooks’ ire for suggesting PLM winner had unfair advantage

Jeff Ames

Hailie Deegan finished second to Jeremy Miller in the Pro Late Model opener for the World Series of Asphalt on Friday night at New Smyrna Speedway.

The reigning K&N Pro Series West rookie of the year suggested after the race that Miller’s engine enjoyed an unfair advantage — and may have been grounds for disqualification.

Miller captured the pole and drew a ‘zero’ for the invert, meaning he started up front and led every lap. After fending off an early challenge from Deegan, Miller slowly extended his advantage at the front of the field and took the checkered flag.

Deegan finished second, followed by Loris Hezemans.

Miller is using a Midwest Limited Late Model motor used in the Big 8 Series across Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. ‘Pro Late Models’ have been allowed to use its current engine-rev limiter combination at New Smyrna Speedway since 2015, but Deegan believes it provided Miller an unfair advantage.

In a since deleted tweet, the 17-year-old suggested the following:

That drew the ire of technical inspector Ricky Brooks.

“The comments she made on social media, she’s talking about something she doesn’t know anything about,” Brooks told Short Track Scene after the race. “The motor that is in Miller’s car has run down here for five years.

“Austin Nason has ran it. Tim Sargent has run it. It’s never posed a threat until it had a superior car and driver combination like this one had. There are multiple championships between that group, and they drew a zero in the invert after winning the pole, so he didn’t have to pass anyone.

“I’m going to look at it overnight and see if we need to make an adjustment. For her to say that this motor had an advantage over everyone else’s … she needs to look at her own. Her motor is turning 6800 rpms and a crate motor is turning 6300. So don’t throw stones at someone unless you want stones thrown back at you. Know the whole story.”

Per the rule book:


5. Big 8 Limited Concept Engine Package (all Big 8 rules apply to engine , carb, exhaust and maximum rpm 7000 subject to adjustment)

6. Wagner LS 5.3 (All Big 8 rules apply to engine, carb, exhaust, must have 50 lbs. mounted to engine block and maximum and maximum rpm 7000 subject to adjustment)

Brooks added more technical details, too.

“The Big 8, they don’t particularly have a rev limiter, ” Brooks said. “They do, but it’s really high up there. I have to cut that engine way back from what it does in the Big 8.

“A Ford crate engine is 6300, a Chevy crate is 6400 and the motor in Deegan’s car is 6800 and I start the Big 8 engine at 7000 like I have for five years so we’ll look at an adjustment and go from there.”

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.



  1. Steven B

    February 9, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Goes to show all the money and support doesn’t always mean you will win every race. Seat time wins more often. Other teams have tried at the highest level and they never won a top Nascar race. Knowing the rules comes with time. Having emotion toward for sport is good but expressing it like you did is not good. I have watched Miller racing for a long time back at his home track. His passion is undeniable. His teams commitment is second to none. He put a great car together. Suck it up, zip the lips, and prove your worth on the track. Congrats to #5. Bring home the hardware all week.

  2. Kevin Rice

    February 9, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I have also watched Jeremy race , starting way back in the day when he was racing at Rockford . He always has raced legal and clean , never broken any rules . It is great to see him win a race like this , and has had a great career . He was well with in the rules according to the the head tech . He won the race fair and square , leave it at that . With that said , i think it is great what Hailie is doing , for herself and racing in general. But i think her approach on this matter is wrong , i also understand everyone is entitled to his or her opinions . Whole thing could have and should have handled differently .

  3. Richard DeLong Sr

    February 10, 2019 at 10:06 am

    She is a racer and a fighter. She it up Hailey and Don’t ever be afraid to voice your opinion.

  4. Reality Racer

    February 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Learn cars before you run off the deep end. You’re young and dumb still and have a lot to learn. Maybe you should drop down to some grass roots racing and try setting a car up yourself. You know so much about engines I’m sure you can build one, I’m sure you can revolve a shock and let us know where your roll centers are migrating as well as your wheel loads. But wait a minute I’d bet I’m wrong just like you were wrong. Fact is you’re in a $40k-$60k per race car you rent for the best team to make you look “kinda” good. The facts are you have a lot to learn and a lot to earn. Try competing at the grassroots level on dirt even in a modified or street stock. Until then if you can’t accept you won’t make it to the top because even your dad and monster aren’t going to throw enough at you as well as being a woman which gets you much further then you’ll never be anybody. I’d suggest kissing ass really well to get money and or find a way to make money. Can’t live off dads money your entire life. Like I said facts…

  5. Fred Knowles

    March 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I have watched her run late models out on the West coast and the one thing she lacks is seat time. You can throw money at a problem but spending it on marketing and publicists does not correct the one thing that will correct what she is lacking.Seat time. She is showing off her immaturity. You only have to delete a social media post if you are wrong. If you state it own it.

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