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Ryan Vargas Will Race for Rev Racing in the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East

Ryan Vargas used his experience racing in California when he went to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He said the track in Florida reminded him of Kern County Raceway Park in California. He went into the combine the same way he prepared for races at Kern County. It paid off with a seat on the Rev Racing team in the K&N Pro Series East.

NASCAR, K&N Pro Series East, Ryan Vargas, Rev Racing

Ryan Vargas will race for Rev Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2018.

Vargas made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at New Smyrna Speedway on February 11th and the 17-year-old driver from La Mirada, Calif. expressed his excitement before the season started. “It’s the first race and really my first time in a K&N car,” Vargas said. “That’s where the Drive for Diversity combine was at. It was at New Smyrna Speedway. I attacked it a lot like how I did with Kern County Raceway back at home. It drove a lot like that place.”

Vargas joins a team with a successful history. Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace, both NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers, raced for Rev in the K&N Pro Series East. Daniel Suarez, who races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, was one of the Rev Racing drivers as he worked his way up the NASCAR ladder.

Vargas said he wants to add to the Rev Racing legacy.

“I definitely want to get a win. I see a whole bunch of banners hung around the shop from Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, and Daniel Suarez from their past wins when they raced with Rev,” Vargas said. “Hopefully I can get a win by the end of the year and that would be a great goal. But in the end, my main goal is to get rookie of the year and run strong in every race.”

NASCAR, K&N Pro Series East, Ryan Vargas, Rev Racing

Ryan Vargas is in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program and will drive for Rev Racing in 2018.

Vargas will be a rookie in the K&N Pro Series East in 2018. He is grateful for the opportunity to race for a team with a successful track record.

“These past few years have been very up and down for us,” Vargas said. “We’ve had a lot of great success with my family team. It’s been really hard funding wise. It’s been hard to keep up.”

“To have the opportunity of a lifetime to come here and race K&N East cars with Rev is very humbling to me. I know I am going to take every advantage of it. I am also really excited to learn as much as I can with this program, learn about the cars, working inside the garage, and getting my fitness on track.”

The majority of Vargas’ experience comes from racing late models, trucks, bandoleros and street stocks at Irwindale Speedway and The Orange Show in California and the Bullring in Las Vegas. He doesn’t have much experience in the K&N Pro Series cars. He will only have one day of testing before his first race at New Smyrna Speedway.

“I’m really excited for it, after talking with a lot of friends who have raced K&N, like my friends Noah Gragson and Will Rodgers, a lot of them have told me that they are just really heavy, but really fast,” Vargas said. “I am going to go into it with the mindset of trying to turn a street stock. Those things are very heavy and very hard to steer. I am going to go into it with a different mindset as well of trying to be as smooth as I can, while being able to get as much as I can out of the car every single race.”

NASCAR, K&N Pro Series East, Ryan Vargas, Rev Racing

Ryan Vargas speaks onstage after being presented with the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award.

Vargas also takes pride in his knowledge in the garage. He likes to work on the cars as much as he likes driving them. In his late model days racing at Irwindale Speedway and the Orange Show, he spent a considerable amount of time in the garage and the pits. He wants that to stay the same at Rev Racing.

“When I come off the track I want to be able to say what I need changed on the car,” Vargas said. “Not just come off the track and say, ‘oh it’s tight, oh it’s loose.’ I want to be able to come off the track and say we need to do this adjustment there. There’s still a lot of ground for me to make up though. I’m definitely not the one to ask a lot of questions on cars. I feel like I am at a place right now that I’ve never been. That is where I can actually diagnose a car a lot better than I ever have been able to.”

Having K&N make a commitment to the series makes a lot of difference, Vargas said. He is excited to be part of the K&N Pro Series East as a rookie.

“It means a lot to have a company like K&N to sponsor the series,” Vargas said. “It shows that the series has so much potential that a great company like them would want to jump on board. It also shows that the series itself is a very good series not just to be in, but also to watch.

“It’s definitely been all worth it. All the hard work has come to this. I am grateful for that.”

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