NASCAR: Bubba Wallace defends driver attacked over facial appearance

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Bubba Wallace came to the defense of fellow NASCAR driver Ryan Vargas after Vargas was attacked over his facial appearance online.

Ryan Vargas recently announced deals to compete in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Truck Series during the 2023 season. While Vargas has competed in the former since 2019, he has never made any starts in the latter.

The 22-year-old La Mirada, California native is set to compete part-time behind the wheel of the No. 74 Chevrolet for CHK Racing, formerly known as Mike Harmon Racing, in the Xfinity Series, beginning with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

He is also set to compete in seven races behind the wheel of the No. 30 Toyota for On Point Motorsports in the Truck Series, beginning with the season’s third race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Unfortunately, not everybody responded kindly to the announcement of his new NASCAR deals.

Vargas shared a post from Heavy on NASCAR about his plans for the 2023 season, and he also shared a picture of the comments section, in which his facial appearance was attacked.

Vargas was born with craniosynostosis, which is defined by Johns Hopkins Medicine as “a condition in which the sutures close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth. 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.”

Suffice it to say that Vargas has been subjected to quite a bit of “disrespect and hate” over the years because of his condition, and the latest disparaging remarks led him to speak out against it.

23XI Racing Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace, who has dealt with more than his fair share of online criticism over the years, responded and offered support for Vargas.

Vargas, a two-time winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award, has competed in 67 Xfinity Series races, including 66 with JD Motorsports from 2019 to 2022 and one with Mike Harmon Racing last year.

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He has recorded two top 10 finishes, with an eighth place coming at Texas Motor Speedway in 2020 and a career-high sixth place finish coming at Daytona International Speedway in August 2022.