GAFFNEY, S.C. – JD Motorsports with Gary Keller has announced that NASCAR Next alumnus Ryan Vargas will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut on July 27 at Iowa Speedway.
The 18-year-old from La Mirada, Calif., will drive the No. 15 Cranio Care Bears Chevrolet Camaro for the Johnny Davis-owned organization.
Vargas, who is also a NASCAR Drive For Diversity alumni, most recently competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Rev Racing, where he earned six top-10 finishes and ranked sixth in the season standings last year.
He has spent most of his 2019 campaign racing in late model competition on both the East and West Coasts, driving for Lee Faulk Racing and Alec Martinez Racing, respectively.
So far this year, Vargas has two wins on the West Coast at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, where he is chasing track championship.
Iowa will mark Vargas’ first start in one of NASCAR’s three national touring series, but it will not be his first appearance at Iowa Speedway.
Last season, Vargas finished seventh after running inside the top five for most of the night in the K&N Pro Series combination race. He believes that his experience at Iowa in the K&N car will help him in next weekend’s Xfinity Series race.
“Making my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Iowa just makes sense. Last year, I felt that I was able to run my best race all year at the speedway, and to have the chance to drive for a well-respected team owner in Johnny Davis really adds to the excitement heading into the weekend,” said Vargas. “I think if we can keep all the fenders on my No. 15 Chevrolet and run as many laps as possible, the weekend will be a success.
“At this point in my career, I want to learn as much as I can, so I can keep moving up the NASCAR ladder,” Vargas continued. “I’m not necessarily worried about what the results show, but I’m hoping for a solid day of learning.”
Supporting Vargas in his debut race will be Cranio Care Bears, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to spread awareness and support to families and children that struggle with Craniosynostosis, a condition that causes problems with a child’s brain and skull growth.
This organization hits close to home for Vargas, who at 11 months old, had to undergo surgery to correct such problems.
“It means a lot to me to be able to help bring awareness to this great charity in Cranio Care Bears through the sport that I love so much,” Vargas noted. “I know that I will have a lot of little supporters cheering me on that look up to me as a role model in the Cranio community, and I want to show them that anything is possible, even with the condition.”