By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Down On Power
The JD Motorsports team revealed the carburetor issues post-race. The carburetor failure likely happened in Stage 2, explaining the power issues that Vargas’ No. 6 National Metering Services Chevrolet Camaro SS suffered late in the Wawa 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway.
In the back of the pack because of the mechanical failure, Vargas had a birds-eye view of the multiple wrecks that wiped out the majority of the field. On the second overtime attempt, the La Mirada, Calif. native narrowly avoided the destroyed car of Noah Gragson and spinning cars of Landon Cassill and Daniel Hemric. Matt Mills, who was behind Vargas, wasn’t so lucky and plowed into the wreck. Mills slammed into Cassill as he slid back down the banking and onto the apron. Blaine Perkins also spun into the grass trying to avoid the wreck.
On the final overtime attempt, Vargas lined up sixth, third on the outside line. However, with the carburetor issue, he quickly dropped back. That is until he was picked up by Ty Gibbs. The No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Supra latched onto Vargas’ bumper, shoving the Chevy Racing driver forward. The duo separated themselves from the second pack. However, before they could reach the lead pack the caution waved, ending the race. Vargas took the checkered flag in sixth.
“I’ve needed this, mentally, so bad,” Vargas admitted. “I didn’t think we’d end up here but here we are, getting a top-10. I’m so happy about that. These guys did a heck of a job. The car was great. We had an issue getting through the gears. It was like, third gear was lagging so much. So, we were never able to launch where we needed. Luckily Ty Gibbs was a legend and pushed me on that final lap.
“I was a little dumbfounded because the race was so clean. It was such a clean race. With our issue, I didn’t think we’d be able to make up any more ground. Overall, we had the speed to do a lot with this car. It just sucked because we never had the speed off the line to make anything happen. But it worked out in our favor. It’s days like that that make everything so worth it, when people like National Metering Services jump on the car.”
— Daniel McFadin (@danielmcfadin) August 27, 2022
A Career Day
With qualifying rained out, Vargas started the Xfinity race in 36th. Aiming to preserve his car and be in contention at the end, the 21-year-old remained in the tail-end of the field. Though during the Stage break between the second and final Stage, Vargas stayed on track for an extra lap, leading a lap for the fourth time in his career.
The sixth-place finish was Vargas’ first top-10 of the season and his first since 2020 when he finished eighth at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s his second career top-10 finish.
Vargas’ top-10 also marked the first time since 2017 that two or more of JD Motorsports’ full-time drivers scored top-10 finishes in the same season. Bayley Currey finished in the top-10 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earlier this year.
Up next for Vargas is the Sports Clips Haircuts / VFW Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, September 3. The race is at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on USA Network, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
“I don’t have a sponsor next week, and I’m trying to figure out how to make these things happen,” Vargas explained.