After celebrating his 20th birthday on Wednesday, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Vargas is gifting fans with a much-anticipated partnership.
TikTok, the popular short-form mobile video app, is breaking into NASCAR with Vargas in a six-race deal beginning at Talladega. He’ll drive the #6 JD Motorsports Camaro for the final six races this season.
“TikTok has provided me with an incredible outlet to reach new fans and demographics through fun and creative content, and I’ve seen the highest growth in followers on TikTok over my other social channel,” Vargas said in a release. “The opportunity to run the No. 6 TikTok Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the rest of the season is an absolute dream come true. Johnny Davis and the whole JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team took a chance on me last year and I’m excited to bring this amazing TikTok partnership their way. I wouldn’t want to make this partnership a reality anywhere else.”
“Creators of all sizes and backgrounds show up to TikTok with their genuine, authentic selves” said Nick Tran, Head of Global Marketing at TikTok. “Partnering with an iconic brand like NASCAR to sponsor Ryan Vargas on his racing journey is a way for us to continue to support, celebrate and elevate the diverse creators that make our TikTok community what it is today. Ryan is an incredible athlete, and we’re looking forward to cheering him on alongside the rest of the TikTok community!”
Vargas has been building his social media presence significantly since TikTok’s impressive rise in popularity. His profile @RyanVargas_23 has amassed over 40-thousand followers and nearly 600-thousand likes as of this article. The app has become a viral sensation among the tweens and teenager demographic. Vargas even went as far as including his TikTok handle on his firesuit in recent starts for JD Motorsports.
The scheme was designed by Ryan Pistana, who has sprinkled his creativity across both the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, as well as the Xfinity Series with teams such as Martins Motorsports. He told TobyChristie.com that the entire idea for a TikTok car on track started from a social media post.
“Basically Ryan Vargas has always talked about his love for TikTok so one day I decided to create a “what if” design to see what it would look like if they came into the sport,” Pistana explained. About a month goes by after I share the design on both Instagram and Twitter and I get a call from Ryan saying TikTok themselves saw the design and were interested in joining the team. From there we decided to simply keep the original design and update it to the team’s branding standards. For the design itself, I created the driver side first with a repeating blue and red pattern, and decided for the other side to simply swap the colors in each place so the design had a asymmetrical appearance.”
Pistana also designed the pit shirts for the #6 JD Motorsports team. The firesuit was created by Truex Management Group’s Creative Media Director Emily Butler.
“I found inspiration for Ryan Vargas’ TikTok firesuit in the organic shapes and mirrored colors of Ryan Pistana’s livery design,” Butler said. “We worked with Impact to find a close match in their available fabrics to ensure that TikTok’s branding was carried throughout the suit. Working with Vargas, Pistana, the TikTok team, and everyone involved has been incredible and I am so grateful to be a part of the creative process!”
The 20-year-old from California has been making the most of his 2020 season with JD Motorsports.
In a partial schedule for team, Vargas had made three starts this season, finishing a career best 13th at Pocono in his fresh XFINITY Series career. In three races in 2019, Vargas finished in the Top 20 twice.
This will be the first time in Vargas’ budding Xfinity Series career that he will race back-to-back weekends, let alone six races in a row.
The TikTok Camaro will hit the track for the first time at Talladega on October 3rd at 1:30pm on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.