Monday, December 5, 2022

All In: Graf, Vargas Racing For Charities Thanks to Unique NFL / NASCAR Collaboration

Ryan Vargas’ “The Big Squeezy” Camaro for the Daytona road course, as he partners with Saints running back Alvin Kamara (PC : JDM)

Something you probably were not expecting to hear is that not one, but two NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have the support of NFL running backs in Saturday’s Super Start Batteries 188 at Daytona.

Joe Graf Jr. of SS Green Light Racing has the backing from Buffalo Bills running back Antonio Williams, while Ryan Vargas of JD Motorsports brings the support of New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara. The latter came from a tweet for sponsorship from Vargas that got Kamara in the mix thanks to a mention of his name in the mission to get Vargas some sponsorship for the race.

Both Graf and Vargas will race with extra motivation on Saturday, as Williams is offering a friendly wager to benefit charity depending on the outcome of the Xfinity Series race on Saturday.

The deal is simple – Graf and Williams versus Vargas and Kamara. Whichever driver finishes best between the two, the losing party will make a donation to the charity of the winning driver’s choice. If Graf finishes best, Vargas and Kamara will make a charitable donation to myFace, a leading nonprofit focused on providing comprehensive care, education, and information to help people with craniofacial differences lead full and productive lives. Should Vargas bring his No. 6 Camaro to the finish line first, Graf and Williams agreed to donate to Son of a Saint, a nonprofit founded in 2011 by Sonny Lee, the son of late Saints defensive back Divian Lee, whose mission is to transform the lives of fatherless boys.

“I love being a part of ideas like this,” added Graf. “I’m not a road course expert by any means, but when there is a challenge on the line, I’m all in. I’m doing my part to adequately prepare myself to have a good weekend not only for my team and partners – but an extra incentive to bring a contribution and exposure to myFace too. Looking forward to Saturday afternoon.”

Social media is a powerful tool, if Vargas’ history between Kamara and TikTok, as well as Williams’ tweet, is needed as further proof.

“This idea came together really quickly, but I thought what a better way to welcome Alvin into NASCAR than with a friendly challenge between the two of our drivers,” Williams said. “Joe and Ryan have raced many races together – but this weekend it will be a little more important not just for points, but the chance to give to others who work tirelessly to make a difference.”

The duo will start rather close to each other as Graf will roll off ninth while Vargas will start from the 12th position on Saturday.

Kamara found his contagious love for NASCAR at Homestead Miami last season, and a few of his friends in the NFL have even contacted him about getting involved in visiting a track for a race day experience.

Fans can watch the battle unfold on track on Saturday for the Super Start Batteries 188 from Daytona. Coverage begins at 5 PM EST on FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports App.

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