Ryan Vargas Featured in ‘No Days Off’ Documentary

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum Ryan Vargas has always been open about the adversity that he’s overcome, specifically craniosynostosis. Recently, he was featured in the Whistle Sports documentary series on YouTube “No Days Off.”

Ryan vargas will compete in a unique doubleheader in the nascar whelen euro series and craftsman truck series in back-to-back weeks.
Ryan Vargas. (Photo by Nigel Kinrade/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

From pit stop practice, to mental awareness, sim racing, and his NASCAR Xfinity Series racing gear, Vargas peeled back the curtain in the documentary, bringing race fans further into his world. “No Days Off” also featured Jourdain Osinskie and Patrick Cole, the head coach and instructor of the pit stop practice sessions, and Hunter Smith, the owner of FitStop Performance.

“It always helps to just be in the seat and doing something to learn and get better, that’s what makes a good team great,” Vargas said in the documentary. “When I was young, I had plenty of toy cars, that’s all that I thought about. To be where I’m at today, 23-years-old, living in Charlotte, N.C., chasing this dream of being in racing, some days I can’t even fathom it because for so long it seemed so impossible.

The 2023 Comcast Community Champion also welcomed the film crew into his home. Of the racing gear that he showed off, the main focus was his helmet. The design of Vargas’ helmet features the same scar that he proudly wears from the craniosynostosis surgery he had before he was even a year old.

It was his advocacy for the FACES charity and others with craniosynostosis that resulted in him becoming the 2023 Comcast Community Champion, as well as being named the first quarter National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award recipient.

A part of the fitness regiment that Vargas has that’s featured in the documentary is his reaction time. From correctly following and predicting lights to decision making, cognitive fitness as well as the NASCAR Next alum’s physical fitness is showcased in the YouTube documentary.

“I would say the more surprising thing that a lot of people don’t really think about is ‘oh, you’re a racecar driver, you’re just sitting in a seat and steering a wheel all day,’” Vargas continued. “In reality, you are in a metal coffin that’s going 180 MPH and anything can happen at any point. It’s all about being able to maintain the mental clarity while being able to withstand the heat those adverse circumstances in those racecars.”

In addition to competing in the Xfinity Series on a part-time basis in the United States, Vargas is also running full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (EuroNASCAR) Pro Division. In the season opening round in Spain, the two-time Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award winner picked up two podium finishes in the Junior Class Championship.

To prepare for each race in Europe, Vargas relies on sim racing, primarily iRacing. For tracks that he hasn’t competed at, he spends ‘two to three hours a day’ practicing on his sim rig, which was also featured in the documentary.

However, there are some tracks that are not on the iRacing service that Vargas would have to utilize another sim racing program or even on-board footage from previous EuroNASCAR races or other events at the same track and configuration.

The next scheduled race for Vargas in Europe with 3f Racing in the No. 30 Critical Path Security Chevrolet Camaro is at the Autodromo di Vallelunga in Italy on May 18 and 19. The races in Rome, Italy, as with all EuroNASCAR qualifying sessions and races, are streamed live on the series’ YouTube channel. EuroNASCAR also posts highlights of all of their events on their YouTube channel.

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