Deegan 2023 Houston Sx Octopi Gm 1051
Haiden Deegan finished fourth in his professional Supercross debut. (Star Racing Yamaha/Octopi Media photo)

A Play-By-Play Of Haiden Deegan’s Supercross Debut

Haiden Deegan made his professional Monster Energy AMA Supercross debut Feb. 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Despite facing tremendous pressure concerning his entrance into the pro ranks, the 17-year-old pieced together a top-five performance on his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing YZ250F.

Deegan, son of action-sports athlete Brian Deegan and brother to NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan, began his day in Houston by topping the timesheets in the 250SX B-qualifying session. His best time was 53.492 seconds, a little more than a second slower than fast-qualifier Max Anstie who recorded a 52.129-second lap time in the 250SX A-qualifying session.

Overall, Deegan was seventh-fastest in the 250SX class.

Deegan continued to trend upward in his heat race where he claimed fourth on his No. 238 machine. Jordon Smith, Anstie and Tom Vialle finished in the top-three spots. As he lined up on the starting gate for the 250SX main event, Hailie Deegan had a few words to say about her brother on the television broadcast.

“These are definitely big moments in his career. When you get to this level where you’re in the stadium and having a lot of people and crowds around you, it’s different,” Hailie said. “I know he’s doing everything he can to be as calm as possible.”

As she made her NASCAR debut only three years ago, Hailie Deegan knows a thing or two about experiencing jitters on the starting grid. So, along with her sisterly support, she has been able to help her younger brother navigate the pressure.

With more than a million followers on his social media accounts, there was no doubt the world was watching Deegan and would be ready to pounce, should he make a mistake. But the moment never came.

Deegan displayed nerves of steel from gate drop to the checkered flag, finishing fourth in his professional debut. Along the way, he passed respected Supercross riders such as Jeremy Martin, Nate Thrasher and Vialle. However, Hunter Lawrence, Anstie and Smith remained unreachable and stood atop the podium.

“I came here and basically my goal was to log laps. I wanted to get top 10 in my first pro race. I thought that would be good for me,” Deegan said in his post-race vlog on The Deegans YouTube channel. “Made some good passes, I had only one close call, but the whole race I rode smooth. Hit my marks. That’s how I wanted to ride.”

Critiques that the youngster is “over-hyped” may continue to float around the world of Supercross, but there is now a concrete result that illustrates his talent aboard a dirt bike.

While even he might’ve expected it to take at least three races to crack the top five, Deegan’s happy about a fourth-place finish in his debut.