NASCAR driver responds to attacks over facial appearance

Ryan Vargas, JD Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Ryan Vargas, JD Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

After his new deals for 2023 were confirmed, NASCAR driver Ryan Vargas was attacked online because of his facial appearance.

Ryan Vargas, who has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2019, was recently announced as a part-time driver of the No. 74 Chevrolet for CHK Racing, formerly known as Mike Harmon Racing, throughout the 2023 season.

Vargas made one start with the team in 2022. He is set to compete in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway next month, but the rest of his schedule hasn’t been announced.

Additionally, a seven-race Truck Series schedule was confirmed for the 22-year-old La Mirada, California native with On Point Motorsports behind the wheel of the No. 30 Toyota, beginning with the March race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Despite being an Xfinity Series veteran, Vargas has not yet had the opportunity to compete in the Truck Series.

Unfortunately, not everything was positive for Vargas after his two new deals were confirmed for the 2023 NASCAR season.

He shared a post from Heavy on NASCAR about the news, and he also shared a picture of the comments section, which included a disparaging remark about his facial appearance.

Vargas is unfortunately no stranger to being attacked for his facial appearance online. He was born with a condition known as craniosynostosis, which Johns Hopkins Medicine defines as “a condition in which the sutures close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth.

Johns Hopkins adds that “premature closure of the sutures may also cause pressure inside the head to increase and the skull or facial bones to change from a normal, symmetrical appearance.”

Vargas spoke out against the “disrespect and hate” that he has received yet again over something totally out of his control.

Vargas has a career-high finish of sixth place in the Xfinity Series, recording the result behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports in August 2022 at Daytona International Speedway.

The two-time Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award winner owns two career top 10 finishes in the Xfinity Series, having also finished in eighth place at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2020.

Despite driving for some of the sport’s smaller and lesser funded teams, Vargas showed marked improvement from 2021 to 2022. In 2021, he ran 29 of 33 races on the schedule and scored 301 points, good for an average of 10.38 points per race. In 2022, he ran just 26 races and managed to score 303 points, good for an average of 11.65 points per race.

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Before he arrived in the Xfinity Series, Vargas drove the No. 2 Toyota for Rev Racing in K&N Pro Series East. In his lone season in the series in 2018, he finished in sixth place in the championship standings with six top 10 finishes in 14 races.