Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many fans have turned to the virtual simulator of iRacing to get their racing fix, and to even compete head-to-head with their favorite NASCAR drivers.
One of the most popular voices for iRacing has been NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Vargas, who is often caught racing online with fans and even hosting his own spontaneous sessions for fans to get involved in.
Now, Vargas is hosting his own event with Nutrishop – the first-ever #NutrishopShowdown. The race, to be held on January 27th, will be a 75 lap dash at the virtual Auto Club Speedway, with a $1,500 purse. With roughly 200 entries for the event, the Showdown will consist of a Tuesday night heats to begin determining the field for Wednesday night’s showcase
Benjamin Fanning will take his No. 096 street stock to the track in Heat No. 4 while Zach York will participate in Heat No. 5.
When Fanning hits the track, he will bring a fully sponsored ride from TobyChristie.com in No. 096 Street Stock.
“I had first seen the event on Twitter, Ryan Vargas had posted something about a “Street Stock Showdown” at Fontana,” Fanning said. “I’ve run a ton of races around Fontana in those little street stocks so I knew I had to get myself into that event. I’m pretty pumped to run it, I know I have a good amount of luck with that track/car combination and I know I have the speed to get it done, so that’s what I’m going to try to do. Tonight and Tomorrow, gonna run as hard as I can to end up the Winner at the end!”
The scheme was designed by Ethan Stuckwisch, also known as #GOATDesigns on social media.
“I’m a person that likes to have a lot of curves and sharp edges for the design that’s like a habit of mine you could say,” Stuckwisch told TobyChristie.com. “Knowing Ben for a while he likes his designs with sharp edges and heaves what I call “split designs” where the design comes from the bottom and from the roof as well. I also add what I call “ghost stripes” in the green to make the design look less plain as a whole. With me being a dirt designer, I take most of my asphalt design inspiration from Noah Sweet (Lefty Designs) and A-Main Creative especially. They showed me how to essentially design an asphalt car since and how to take a dirt design and transform it into a design that suits an asphalt car.”
For York’s entry, TobyChristie.com will adorn the rear quarter panels, as well as the decklid of his No. 449 Flying Arrows street stock. The design is inspired by Vargas’ California roots, featuring the Los Angeles skyline, as well palm trees in front of a specially made “California Sunset” gradient.
“I’m very excited and eager to race in this invitational,” York told TobyChristie.com. Being a 19-year-old virtual race car driver, I see this as an opportunity to get my team, Flying Arrow, and my name out into the world. I’m running in this race tonight and tomorrow for myself, my team, and the people that support my virtual racing career. Look for the #449 to be near the front tonight and tomorrow!”
Vargas, who has recently been tapped to take over the No. 6 full-time for JD Motorsports, is ready to put an idea he has had for a while, into reality.
“I want to do this event because a lot of fun,” Vargas told TobyChristie.com. ” I normally do street stock races online with my buddies. We usually fill up a session, getting about 30 to 45 people entering. It was an idea that I had for a while and me and my buddy Gabe Herschel, we just said ‘let’s do it!’, and here we are today with you know a good size field, a great broadcast partner in Podium eSports and a bunch of amazing partners that jumped on board to present a great race, and a great purse.”
As far as an expectation for the race – Vargas looks for intense, and potentially chaotic action.
It’s going to be a bit crazy,” said Vargas. “The heat races are going to be big, there is going to be a lot of action, a lot of side by side, and a lot of pack racing. The street stocks draft really well on the bigger tracks. You put them on a two-mile oval like Fontana, you’re going to see some insane two, three, four, and even five-wide racing that’s going to be a little bit hectic. My hope is that we are going to see some really incredible finishes, and have fun!”
The full schedule for the Nutrishop eStreet Stock Showdown can be seen below. The main event will go green on January 27th at 8:00 PM EST on Podium eSports.