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September 12, 2023

Around the world: Ryan Vargas set for Germany-Talladega doubleheader

(Photo: NASCAR)

Ryan Vargas will wrap up the month of September by experiencing two vastly different parts of NASCAR culture.

On Sept. 23-24, Vargas is set to take part in a NASCAR Whelen Euro Series event at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany. He will pilot the No. 30 Critical Path Security Chevrolet Camaro in a collaborative effort between Team FJ and 3F Racing in the EuroNASCAR PRO division.

Once Vargas wraps up his Euro Series debut, he will turn his attention to his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 30 driving the No. 30 Critical Path Security Toyota Tundra for On Point Motorsports.

Germany and Talladega could not be further apart for Vargas in every regard, but he is excited about participating in the upcoming doubleheader, particularly when it comes to fulfilling a childhood passion of competing across the Atlantic Ocean.

“I’ve always wanted to race in the NASCAR Euro Series,” Vargas said. “My dream has always been to go overseas and drive a race car, whether it be GT racing or NASCAR Euro. I’ve always had a fascination with racing overseas, so when the opportunity arose for [the doubleheader] to happen, I jumped on it as quickly as I could.”

RELATED: Career stats for Ryan Vargas

3F Racing was the driving force behind making the doubleheader happen for Vargas, who has served as the organization’s director of team and driver development since July.

A German team based in Richard Childress Racing’s campus, 3F Racing’s goal is to one day compete in the NASCAR Cup Series. While Vargas is working hard to help make that idea a reality for 3F Racing, he is eager to represent the team in their home country during the NASCAR GP Germany.

What entices Vargas the most about the Euro Series is the drivability of the cars. Designed to resemble their Cup Series counterparts but built for European tracks, the Euro Series cars use a V8 engine with 450 horsepower along with a four-speed manual gearbox with rear-wheel drive, all of which Vargas said results in one thrilling race after another.

An elite international driver roster only adds to the allure of the Euro Series for Vargas. He would love to perform well against past series champions like Anthony Kumpen and Lucas Lasserre, but Vargas said his goals for Germany are to keep his car out of trouble while promoting both 3F Racing and NASCAR.

RELATED: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series point standings

“I’m not going over there expecting to set the world on fire by any means,” Vargas said. “I want to show what 3F Racing is trying to do with their development program and bring some eyes to the international crowd. NASCAR is always trying to grow their footprint across the world, especially with the Garage 56 entry at Le Mans, so there’s no better time than now to try something completely unorthodox.”

Ryan Vargas is fulfilling a childhood dream of racing overseas by competing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. (Photo: NASCAR)

The Euro Series competing at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for the first time is something Vargas believes will put him on a more level playing field with the series veterans. Despite this, Vargas understands he is still going up against drivers who have been competing on road courses through their entire careers.

Even after his time in Germany is complete, Vargas will not get much time to mentally decompress before preparing for the Truck Series race at Talladega, an event known for its chaotic and unpredictable nature.

In the past five Talladega races in the Truck Series, the winner has only led the final lap, with the four most recent winners still having just one victory in the series to date. For Vargas, those statistics only add to the anticipation of running with the lead pack and potentially scoring his first Truck Series win.

“I love the superspeedway racing,” Vargas said. “Some guys like it, some guys hate it, but I’m one of the few that absolutely loves it, especially when it goes [my] way. It’s a race where everyone has the same chance to go out there and win. For me, I want to put myself in contention when it gets down to those final few laps.”

RELATED: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at Talladega

Superspeedways were mostly kind to Vargas during his time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Including Atlanta Motor Speedway’s reconfiguration into a drafting track, Vargas has five top-20 finishes on superspeedways, among them being a career-best run of sixth at Daytona International Speedway last August.

Vargas is approaching the Talladega Truck Series race differently from an Xfinity Series there. He said the aerodynamic setup with the trucks puts more emphasis on track position and minimizing mistakes as opposed to utilizing big runs in the draft.

“The Trucks are so much taller, they have a bigger spoiler, and they poke such a big hole in the air compared to the Xfinity cars,” Vargas said. “Just from watching footage, they also get more tightly bunched together, so it’s going to be about making sure you’re [up front] with 10 to go. If you’re smart and bide your time, you can have a good day.”

Ryan Vargas looks to score his first Top 5 in any NASCAR national series when he competes in the upcoming Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo: NASCAR)

All the preparation between Germany and Talladega has been a rigorous exercise for Vargas, but he considers himself grateful for a chance to pull such a unique feat off.

Vargas wants to do everything possible to keep racing in the top three levels of NASCAR. He knows the best way to accomplish that mission is to take any ride available and showcase his capabilities behind the wheel.

The logistics of the doubleheader are not going to be easy despite the races taking place one week apart from each other, but Vargas has confidence in himself and those assisting the effort to stay efficient as he travels between two continents.

“We’re putting in a lot of work on both ends,” Vargas said. “When those weekends come around, there’s going to be a lot of action in a short amount of time. To go on this journey from Germany all the way to Talladega, Alabama is a wild one and it’s great to bring Critical Path Security along for the ride.

“It’s crazy to think about everything that’s going to be happening in these upcoming weeks.”

Germany and Talladega are going to test Vargas in two separate but equally demanding ways. No matter what challenges he endures during those two weekends, Vargas is ready to enjoy every minute of his time on track.