For the second year in a row, Ryan Vargas will be one of JD Motorsports’ primary drivers, as he returns to the team for the full 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
Vargas, 21, competed in 29 of 33 races for JD Motorsports last season, with a best finish of 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in July. The top-15 result came after leading a trio of laps in April at Talladega Superspeedway, the first laps he led in his NASCAR career.
“I grew up as a massive JD Motorsports fan for my years, watching the red cars go around the track,” Vargas told Jayski.com. “Making my first start was a big deal, but now to be entering my second season with JD Motorsports and being one of their drivers, one of their main guys on their lineup is a huge honor.”
Last season, Vargas was scheduled to run the full season, but was pulled from the car ahead of the series‘ inaugural race at Circuit of The Americas for road course ace Spencer Pumpelly. Team owner Johnny Davis‘ decision came after six straight results outside of the top 25.
“[Vargas] got a little too far ahead of where we were at with our program for the dollars we have to spend,” Davis said last May. “He took some chances and did some things he shouldn‘t have and I called him out.”
Vargas finished out the majority of the season in the No. 6 car, placing 27th in the championship standings.
The California native has 41 career Xfinity Series starts to his name. In 2020, he finished a career-best eighth in the fall race at Texas Motor Speedway, when he was sponsored by TikTok.
Vargas made series debut for JDM in 2019 at Iowa Speedway, finishing 17th. In three starts that year, he earned a pair of top-20 finishes.
“They believed in me when I was 18 years old and a washed up K&N (now ARCA) driver,” Vargas said of JDM. “I‘ve had so many amazing memories with this team, and they‘ve had my back through a lot of incredible times. We‘ve been able to build a good platform for, hopefully, a long career in this sport. Couldn‘t be more thankful.”
Vargas‘ car number and sponsors will be announced at a later date.