Ryan Vargas is a young NASCAR competitor to keep an eye on in the coming years, as he has shown speed despite driving for underdog organizations. Saturday, Vargas showcased his intestinal fortitude as well.
During the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 250, the Koolbox in Vargas’ helmet malfunctioned ending any hopes that the 19-year old driver had of combating the sweltering heat on a humid summer day in the Sunflower State.
*For those unfamiliar with what a Koolbox is, it is an air filtration and cooling system that connects to the driver’s helmet with a hose. While it sounds nice and refreshing, it isn’t a full-on air conditioning unit like in your passenger car. If the temperatures in a race car are ranging between 120 to 140 degrees, you can likely expect the Koolbox to give relief of about 20 degrees to the driver’s head.
However, Vargas stayed in the seat and delivered a 25th-place effort for his JD Motorsports team. But upon climbing from the car it was apparent that he needed to seek the attention of the infield care center for an IV.
It was avery hot day in Kansas. @RyanVargas_23 is headed to the infield care center for precautionary measure. He is okay, but wants fluids in his system. #TeamJDM | #NASCAR | #XfinitySeries pic.twitter.com/HxTShLUvMo
— JD Motorsports w/ Gary Keller (@JDMotorsports01) July 25, 2020
The Rhino, as Vargas is affectionately called by his fans, showed some incredible toughness on Saturday. But he took to Twitter to assure everyone that he was okay after the race.
Thanks to everyone for their concern. I’m okay! Just got really hot as we had to fight a loose car and the Koolbox went out.
I’ve officially fallen out of the seat for the first time, but we made it to the end without a scratch on the car, and got a decent Top 25 out of it!🤟🏼 https://t.co/P1st44p0qF
— Ryan Vargas (@RyanVargas_23) July 26, 2020
Vargas, if you don’t know is a chicken nugget (or nuggie) aficionado, and he even has a special video series where he interviews fellow up and coming NASCAR drivers while testing out some chicken nuggets at different restaurants.
The California-native has run a total of five NASCAR Xfinity Series races with JD Motorsports between 2019 and 2020, with a best finish of 13th coming at Pocono Raceway earlier this year.
Vargas wasn’t the only driver who needed help after the race on Saturday. Jimmy Means Racing’s Kody Vanderwal also took a visit to the infield care center for fluids. Vanderwal was put on a stretcher after the race.
— Jimmy Means Racing (@MeansRacing52) July 25, 2020
Like Vargas, Vanderwal also took to Twitter to let his fans know that after receiving fluids, he was feeling much better.
I'm all good guys, I think the stretcher was a little overkill but they're just doing their job I guess 😂 got cooled off and a bag of fluids and feeling good now
— Kody Vanderwal (@KodyVanderwal) July 26, 2020
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.