HomeNASCAR NewsNASCAR Drivers NewsJosh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan's NASCAR Exit, Fans Confused

Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan’s NASCAR Exit, Fans Confused

Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan’s NASCAR Exit: The recent shake-up at Stewart-Haas Racing, with Josh Berry stepping in after Hailie Deegan‘s departure, has ignited a whirlwind of fan intrigue and speculation. Deegan’s tenure, marked by inconsistent performances and off-track controversies, contrasts with Berry’s impressive Xfinity Series track record. While some fans are puzzled by the abrupt shift, insiders suggest Berry’s strategic mind could be the key to revitalizing the team’s competitive edge. As Berry prepares to take the wheel, the NASCAR community is abuzz—will his seasoned approach transform the team’s fortunes and silence the skeptics?

Key Highlights

  • Josh Berry replaces Hailie Deegan at AM Racing, aiming to boost team performance.
  • Deegan’s departure follows poor results, with her best finish being 12th at Talladega.
  • Fans express confusion and concern over Deegan’s exit and career decline.
  • Berry’s experience and strategic skills are expected to positively impact Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • Speculation surrounds Deegan’s future and potential new racing opportunities.

AM Racing Parts Ways with Hailie Deegan

In a move that sent ripples through the NASCAR community, AM Racing announced on Monday, 8th July, that they would part ways with Hailie Deegan following a series of lackluster performances in the initial half of the Xfinity Series season. Deegan, who joined AM Racing with substantial fanfare and high expectations, struggled to find her footing in the competitive environment of the Xfinity Series. Her departure marks a significant shift for the team, reflecting both the demands of motorsport and the unforgiving nature of performance metrics in NASCAR.

The decision to release Deegan was not taken lightly by AM Racing. Insiders suggest that team executives had been closely monitoring her progress, noting that despite her considerable talent and potential, she had failed to translate these into consistent race results. With the team’s aspirations riding high, the leadership felt compelled to make a strategic change to strengthen their competitive edge.

The selection of Joey Logano to replace Deegan for the Loop 110 NXS event at Chicago Street Race shows AM Racing’s dedication to immediate improvement. Logano, a seasoned driver with a proven track record, brings a wealth of experience and a history of success that the team hopes will energize their performance. This move is indicative of a broader strategy to pivot quickly and decisively, leveraging Logano’s expertise to gain essential points in the standings.

Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan's NASCAR Exit 1

Deegan’s Performance and Social Media Reaction

Hailie Deegan’s 2024 season with AM Racing unraveled dramatically, besmirched by lackluster performances and a noticeable decline in her social media engagement. Despite the initial high hopes following her multi-year contract signing in October, Deegan’s season quickly spiraled. Her debut with a Did Not Finish (DNF) at Daytona set an ominous tone, and her subsequent races did little to improve the outlook. Her best finish was a mere 12th place at Talladega, a far cry from the top-tier performances fans and sponsors expected.

Deegan’s struggles on the track were mirrored in her social media activity, an area where she previously thrived. Known for her dynamic online presence, Deegan’s engagement metrics experienced a significant drop, reflecting her on-track challenges and ensuing frustrations. Fans who once flocked to her profiles for updates and behind-the-scenes content found her posts less frequent and increasingly devoid of enthusiasm.


  1. Disappointing Debut: Deegan’s season opener at Daytona ended in a DNF, setting a negative precedent for the months that followed.
  2. Subpar Performances: Despite high expectations, her best result was a 12th place finish at Talladega, highlighting a season tainted by underperformance.
  3. Social Media Shift: Deegan’s social media engagement saw a drastic decline, with fewer posts and a noticeable lack of interaction with fans.
  4. Seeking New Opportunities: Reports indicate she has removed mentions of AM Racing from her social media profiles, signaling her search for new racing avenues.

Appointment of Josh Berry

Josh Berry’s appointment to replace Hailie Deegan at Pocono marks a critical moment for Stewart-Haas Racing as they aim to utilize his seasoned expertise and strong track record to revitalize their competitive standing. Berry’s entry in the #15 Ford Mustang is a strategic move that highlights the team’s commitment to leveraging experienced talent to regain momentum in the highly competitive NASCAR circuit.

Berry, a five-time Xfinity race winner with JR Motorsports, is no stranger to high-stress environments and challenging tracks. His proven ability to perform under duress and secure victories makes him an invaluable asset for Stewart-Haas Racing. The shift to Stewart-Haas Racing, facilitated through a technical alliance with AM Racing, is expected to be smooth, given Berry’s adaptability and familiarity with high-performance racing dynamics.

Berry’s extensive experience in the Xfinity series equips him with a deep understanding of racecraft, vehicle dynamics, and strategic racing, elements essential for success at Pocono. Known for its unique tri-oval shape and demanding turns, Pocono requires a driver who can blend precision with aggression—qualities Berry has consistently shown throughout his career. His strategic insight and technical feedback are expected to provide Stewart-Haas Racing with actionable insights, potentially altering their performance trajectory this season.

The decision to place Berry in the #15 Ford Mustang is more than just a substitution; it signifies a deliberate effort to infuse fresh energy and seasoned strategy into the team. As Stewart-Haas Racing navigates this critical moment, Berry’s role could very well be the linchpin in their quest to reclaim a competitive edge, showcasing the enduring value of experience and expertise in NASCAR’s relentless pursuit of victory.

Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan's NASCAR Exit 2

Reaction from NASCAR Community and Fans

The NASCAR community displayed a range of reactions to Josh Berry’s appointment, reflecting a mix of doubt, anticipation, and critical analysis of Stewart-Haas Racing’s strategic direction. This development, occurring in the aftermath of Hailie Deegan’s departure, sparked considerable discussion among fans and insiders as well.

Oh man even her sponsor stuck around without her” 

Majeski or Dibenedetto (I think Matt is actually in the 38 full time so probably not him).” – fans reaction

  1. Doubt about Team Setup: Many within the community questioned the alignment and readiness of Stewart-Haas Racing’s team configuration. Concerns were raised about whether Berry could seamlessly integrate into the team’s dynamic and consistently perform at a top level, given the current state of the car and the team’s existing strategies.
  2. Excitement for Berry’s Potential: Amid the doubt, there was a noticeable sense of excitement about Berry’s potential. His track record in lower-tier series has been promising, and some fans are keen to see if his skill set can translate effectively to the top-tier NASCAR circuit. The excitement hinges on Berry’s ability to bring a fresh perspective and perhaps reinvigorate the team’s competitive spirit.
  3. Criticism Towards Deegan and AM Racing: Deegan’s performance and her team’s decisions have not escaped scrutiny. Critics argue that Deegan’s departure was inevitable given her inconsistent performances and that AM Racing’s strategies may have lacked the foresight needed to secure her long-term success. This narrative has fueled discussions about the pressures young drivers face in the sport.
  4. Strategic Concerns for Playoff Eligibility: Questions abound regarding Stewart-Haas Racing’s long-term strategy, particularly concerning playoff eligibility. Berry’s appointment has led to debates about whether the team is positioned effectively to secure playoff spots, highlighting the broader strategic implications of this change.

Looking Ahead and Fan Speculation

As Stewart-Haas Racing forges ahead with Josh Berry, the NASCAR community anticipates and speculates on how this important change will shape the team’s trajectory and what it signifies for Hailie Deegan‘s future in the sport. Berry’s integration into the team is seen by many as a strategic shift, aimed at leveraging his proven track record and experience to bolster the team’s competitive edge in the upcoming races, including the highly anticipated Explore the Pocono Mountains 225.

Analysts are keenly observing how Berry’s driving style and strategic insight will mesh with Stewart-Haas Racing’s established protocols. His ability to quickly adapt and deliver results will be critical in determining the team’s success in this transformation period. This move also opens up broader discussions about the team’s long-term vision and the potential for Berry to become a mainstay in their lineup.

“People are hyping up a 2 time champ for finishing 8th when the finish does not reflect his race, he was 13th-16th most of the day and avoided some crashes. With what you mentioned, it shows how bad AM is and how good Joey is. Not sure how good Josh will do with what’s being handed to him but the expectations for this team aren’t high no matter who’s driving.” – fans’ reaction

On the other hand, Hailie Deegan’s departure from Stewart-Haas Racing has left fans and experts pondering her next steps in NASCAR. Deegan, known for her tenacity and marketability, now faces the challenge of redefining her career trajectory. Speculation is rife about potential new affiliations or a possible return to a development series where she can refine her skills and rebuild her momentum.

“Ngl this is the kind of driver I wanted to see in the 15 before I come to any real conclusions about Deegan’s performance. Totally no bias whatsoever that my driver is gonna get some extra laps in.” 

“After seeing Berry this past weekend, I’d rather have Deegan in the car!” – fans reaction

The comparison of Berry’s ascension and Deegan’s exit encapsulates the constantly changing dynamics of NASCAR, where talent, timing, and opportunity intersect in unpredictable ways. As the season progresses, both driver’s performances will be under the microscope, providing a rich narrative for fans and a strategic puzzle for teams to solve.

Stay tuned for further developments as the NASCAR season unfolds and Deegan seeks to rebound from recent setbacks.

Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan's NASCAR Exit 3

News in Brief: Josh Berry Capitalizes on Hailie Deegan’s NASCAR Exit

The appointment of Josh Berry at Stewart-Haas Racing, following Hailie Deegan‘s departure, introduces a multifaceted dynamic that could potentially redefine the team’s trajectory.

Berry’s proven capabilities in the Xfinity Series juxtaposed with Deegan’s previous challenges create a compelling narrative for NASCAR enthusiasts.

As Berry endeavors to harness this opportunity, the NASCAR community remains poised to observe how his integration impacts team performance, thereby fueling ongoing discussions and speculation about the future competitive landscape.

ALSO READ: Josh Berry Discusses Ideal Crew Chief After Wood Brothers News

Simran Kaur
Simran Kaur
Simran Kaur is a seasoned sports journalist specializing in NASCAR coverage. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for motorsports, she has extensively covered the NASCAR circuit, delving into the careers of iconic drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, and Kyle Busch. Simran's expertise extends beyond writing; she has also provided live race reporting, offering fans an immersive experience into the heart-pounding action on the track. In addition to her journalistic pursuits, Simran is a trained graphic designer, bringing a creative edge to her work in both print and digital media. With a commitment to delivering accurate, insightful, and engaging content, Simran Kaur continues to be a trusted voice in the world of NASCAR journalism


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