Ryan Vargas Going Full-Time in 2024 in EuroNASCAR Pro

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

Most NASCAR drivers get the opportunity to travel across the United States of America, visiting small towns and iconic cities alike. In 2024 Ryan Vargas will take a different approach, going full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (EuroNASCAR), traveling abroad.

Ryan vargas and jd motorsports welcome another new sponsor to the nascar xfinity series, national metering services, for daytona international speedway.
#6: Ryan Vargas, JD Motorsports, KSDT Chevrolet Camaro. Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.

Vargas is not the first driver from NASCAR’s National Touring Series to ‘hop across the pond’ to compete full-time, joining Bobby Labonte, Julia Landauer, and Myatt Snider among others that have explored the European arm of the sport. He will be the first since Labonte in 2018 to compete full-time in EuroNASCAR’s PRO division (formerly known as Elite 1).

The NASCAR Next alum has been working on competing abroad since late 2023. Vargas competed in the final four rounds of the season last year, scoring top-10 finishes in both races at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany with 3F Racing. He will rejoin the German team for the full 2024 season in the No. 30 Critical Path Security Chevrolet.

“(I’ve been working on this for) about five months,” Vargas explained. “There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes, just making sure we get everybody, especially when you’re working with folks overseas and trying to get everybody together and then try to put a full-time deal together.” 

The 2024 EuroNASCAR season takes the international series to seven racetracks for 13 races. In total 12 of those races are on road courses with one on an oval. Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Spain), Autodromo di Vallelunga (Italy), Brands Hatch Indy Circuit (U.K.), Raceway Venray (Netherlands), Autodrom Most (Czechia), Oschersleben (Germany), and Circuit Zolder (Belgium) make up the schedule.

Of the seven tracks, Vargas has real-life experience at Oschersleben and Zolder last season. The NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum also has experience on the virtual Brands Hatch Indy Circuit after competing in the iRacing International Invitational last year. The other four tracks are completely new to the La Mirada, Calif. native.

Of the tracks that Vargas looks forward to, one of the first is Raceway Venray as it is the only oval on the schedule. The 23-year-old believes that might be one of the tracks that he’ll have the upper hand over his competition. Though he was happy with his speed on the road courses of Belgium and Germany last year, Vargas acknowledges that his competitors have far more experience on road courses than he does.

“I’m really looking forward to all of the (tracks),” Vargas admitted. “Brands Hatch is iconic in itself and being able to drive around that place is going to be a lot of fun. Obviously, I have the Venray Oval bookmarked. I’m the only oval racer in the series, so to me that looks like one that I can have a pretty good shot at a win. If all the cards fall right and just make the most of the weekend.

“But with the speed we showed in Germany, and especially in Belgium, off the trailer and practice, I have a lot of confidence in the fact that we can show up to these races and actually have an outside shot at some podiums or maybe even challenging for a win. It’s not going to be easy. These guys are really, really, really good on road courses. That’s all they do. I mean, these are champion road racing drivers. I have a lot of ground to gain a lot of ground to make up. But we’ll make it work.” 

Traveling back and forth from the United States to Europe is both time consuming and tiring. Flying across so many time zones, Vargas will be building an extra travel day ahead of each race weekend to acclimate to the time differences. That extra time is important as it will allow the journeyman driver to focus and clear his mind for race day.

“The first day we always book into our travel plans,” Vargas said. “It gives us time, a day to rest. It sounds cheesy, but I mean it is important to get a day to get your get your bearings anywhere and time to sleep. Once I do that, I’m normally pretty good. Afterwards, it normally takes me about a day to really get all sorted.”

The first race weekend of the EuroNASCAR season for Vargas is at Spain’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo with a pair of races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday April 13 and 14. All EuroNASCAR races are streamed live on YouTube.

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