News 8 Feb 2023

‘I had a lot of people to prove wrong’ – Deegan

High profile teenager an inspired fourth in 250SX East debut.

Haiden Deegan jumps finish line during Supercross debut in Houston's NRG Stadium

Image: Octopi Media.

Finishing one spot off the podium in his Monster Energy Supercross debut, Haiden Deegan was proud to prove his preparation for the sport’s biggest stage.

The amateur sensation and famed star of his family’s YouTube series ended up fifth in the 250SX Futures contest inside Angel Stadium a week ahead of his professional debut.

That ride may have supported the opinions of those doubtful of whether Deegan should begin his foray into Supercross in 2023 or wait another year. However, with a visit to Houston’s NRG Stadium and a fourth-place finish for the seven-time Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National Champion in the books, that story has been reversed.

Deegan’s chart-topping speed in the B group timed qualifying sessions put him ahead of rookie rival Chance Hymas and seventh on the combined 250SX East timesheet.

Following the first gate drop of his Supercross career, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider placed fourth in his heat race. Come main event time, Deegan was ninth off the start but reached fourth via steady laps and late mistakes for a few riders ahead.

“It was a good day,” 17-year-old Deegan said. “We started off with some solid times and we were first in Group B practice and qualifying. Then for the heat race, I was fourth, so I was happy with that. I got into a good pace and was able to lay down some good laps and see the track well.

“Then in the main event, I was pretty nervous on the line, but I got a decent start and then just fought and never gave up. I kept pushing through the pack. I had a lot of people to prove wrong and I ended up fourth in my first pro Supercross race. It was a crazy night! I am so happy with how it went.”

Deegan’s ride supported an overall strong night in Houston for the Star Racing-operated Yamaha team in 250SX East, with Jordon Smith capturing his first podium result since 2019 and Nate Thrasher running up front before falling back due to mistakes in the sand section.

“Overall, it was a really good day and a really good start to the 250 East championship,” said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team manager Jensen Hendler. “Haiden rode super smart and just let the race come to him. He ended up fourth, which was amazing.

“I think he proved a lot of people wrong tonight, which is awesome. We’re very pleased with his progress. I think he’s learning more and more every time he rides. For him, this season is part of the learning process, and he showed that tonight.”

Deegan and the rest of the Supercross paddock head next to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, for the second round of the east-coast swing on February 11.