A racing and cultural adventure: Ryan Vargas previews upcoming races

Ryan Vargas is one of the most electrifying additions to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in recent seasons. The American made his European debut on his 23rd birthday at Oschersleben in 2023 and stepped up to a full campaign with 3F Racing, the German team that had ambitions to become a NASCAR Cup Series competitor in the future. 2024 is his first racing season outside of the United States and with the series visiting seven of the best European tracks, the La Mirada, California native is looking forward to what’s to come in the future.

Vargas has already ticked off the first round of his checklist, the NASCAR GP Spain at Circuit Ricardo Tormo where he scored two podiums in the Junior Trophy onboard the #30 3F Racing Chevrolet Camaro. The American is thankful for having the opportunity to visit the beautiful country in the Iberian Peninsula. He also thoroughly enjoyed the experience of EuroNASCAR’s V8 powered Pure Racing machines at the 4.005 kilometer circuit that has been a mainstay in the series calendar for more than a decade.

“Traveling to Spain was really cool,” said Vargas on the trip to Spain. “I always wanted to go to Spain and check out all the sites and take in the culture. Being able to do so while having the chance to drive race cars is always a really neat experience.“

“Got to enjoy some authentic Spanish paella as well! Circuit Ricardo Tormo is a very unique race track, obviously it has really deep roots within motorcycle racing and being able to try my hand at wrestling a stock car around the track like that is always a fun challenge. The circuit was a lot of fun and had some really fast corners with a nice mix of slow and technical corners!”

Out of the seven tracks, Vargas looks forward to Brands Hatch the most. The legendary circuit in West Kingsdown, United Kingdom has hosted the NASCAR GP UK since 2012 and is a hit among the fans. The action provided by EuroNASCAR allowed the event to grow year after year and in 2023, the tenth anniversary of American SpeedFest attracted 50,000 spectators to the 1.944 kilometer circuit.

“I’m really looking forward to racing in Brands Hatch as I’ve always wanted to go to the UK and it looks like a very unique circuit,” added Vargas. “I think my chances are as good as they are at any other track. I know we had a lot of speed at Valencia, just without any luck. I think if we were able to take that same speed from Valencia and take it to a lot of these tracks, we could contend for top fives or have an outside shot to a podium.”

Vargas admitted that his knowledge of the many different cultures in Europe are limited, so he is using the EuroNASCAR season to not only learn about the tracks that he’s going to race on, but also the uniqueness of the countries. Competing at Oschersleben and Zolder with 3F Racing in 2023 made him interested in learning more of European culture as it featured traditions that he had never experienced before up until that point.

“In terms of culture, there’s not much that I really know other than what I see from YouTube videos and other stuff when learning about each country,” noted the Xfinity Series and Truck Series regular. “I think the biggest thing when going to Germany and Belgium was experiencing just such a different culture amongst the racing fans, but also just being able to check out all the different cities. I really loved going to small markets in each town and being able to see what kind of snacks they have and all the little things that are popular over there. Plus driving down the road and not being able to read the signs is always a crazy feeling.”

Oschersleben and Zolder will make their return to the 2024 calendar as the venues hosting the EuroNASCAR Playoffs. With Vargas already familiar with both the tracks and the double-points Playoff format, he believes that he would be able to contend for strong finishes during the all important late rounds of the season.

“I feel we have a big advantage heading into Oschersleben and Zolder mainly because of the fact that those are the only two tracks I’ve raced on prior to the season,” concludes the 3F Racing driver. “Knowing that those two races have even more importance this season, I could take my notes from last season and be able to build up on some really strong performances at both tracks. With Top 10’s in Oschersleben and good speed in Zolder in the dry, I think we can really contend for great results.”

The next round for Vargas in the 2024 EuroNASCAR season will be the NASCAR GP Italy, scheduled for May 18-19 at Autodromo di Vallelunga. The 4.005 kilometer circuit located just 20 miles north of the country’s capital of Rome promises to deliver fantastic action for both the fans and the American. Qualifying and all races will be broadcast live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel and several TV networks from all around the world.