"Fired the wrong person, should've fired Hailie Deegan" - NASCAR fans react to AM Racing No. 15 crew chief change

NASCAR Xfinity Series BetRivers 200 - Qualifying
NASCAR Xfinity Series BetRivers 200 - Qualifying

NASCAR fans weren't happy with AM Racing announcing that Joe Williams would not be the crew chief on Hailie Deegan's No. 15 Ford Mustang. The Xfinity Series team also claimed that Competition Director Matt Lucas would be the car's interim crew chief.

Joe Williams was the crew chief for Hailie Deegan back when she made her first start in the Xfinity Series in 2022. A former driver at David Gilliland Racing, Deegan won the ARCA Menards Series Rookie of the Year honor in 2020. She has three wins in the ARCA Menards Series West between 2018 and 2019. Deegan is currently in her rookie full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

AM Racing announced that they parted ways with Deegan's former crew chief and have invited Matt Lucas, the team's Competition Director, to be the interim crew chief for the 22-year-old driver over the next couple of weeks.

"Effective today, AM Racing has parted ways with Joe Williams, the Crew Chief on Hailie Deegan's No. 15 Ford Mustang. AM Racing's Competition Director, Matt Lucas, will step in as interim Crew Chief for this weekend's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway and next weekend at Sonoma Raceway."
"We thank Joe for his time at AM Racing, and wish him best on his future endeavors," they added.

This news did not resonate well with the fans. Many of them criticized the decision, with one suggesting that AM Racing should have fired Hailie Deegan instead.

"Fired the wrong Person. Should've fired Hailie," the fan said.

Another fan felt there was nothing wrong with Joe Williams as the crew chief.

"Unfortunately I don't think the crew chief was the problem... but I hope it turns around soon. I want her to be successful," the fan commented.

Here are some other fan reactions about Joe Williams leaving AM Racing:

"Let go of one of the most underrated crew chiefs in the game.. Looking forward to seeing him thrive again in a different environment," said a fan.
"He probably said there was nothing he could do to make her win because he's not a magician," added another.
"I don’t think the problem is the crew chief. Why was she moved up? She didn’t have hang of the trucks yet. What made anyone think she would do better here?" wrote a fan.
"I would have kept the crew chief and maybe tried a new driver," said another.

2024 has not brought much success to Deegan yet as she is yet to register a Top-5 of Top-10 finish. She has already had three DNFs. After finishing 20th at the recently-concluded BETMGM 300, Deegan is currently 26th in the drivers' standings at the Xfinity Series, with 139 points to her name.

Hailie Deegan teams up with Airbox to facilitate charities at Ronald McDonald House

Hailie Deegan is partnering with Airbox America, a commercial air cleaner manufacturing company to install air purifiers at Ronald McDonald House, situated in Charleston. The facility provides a place to stay for families who have children undergoing medical treatment.

"A lot of people here are going through tough times," Deegan said while spending time with the families at Ronald McDonald House, as reported by abc news. "To have a good support system of people that truly care and people who are trying to help, I think that goes a long way."

The families even received the pass to watch Deegan race at Darlington a few weeks back.

The 22-year-old's next race is the Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland International Raceway on June 2. The 75-lap race will air live on FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR radio, and Motor Racing Network (MRN).

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